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Surprises enough and more



KEEN TO STRIKE A HAPPY NOTE: Andha Naal Gnaabagam

Manibharati, the director who made his debut with the family flick, `Anbae Anbae' that had Shaam and Sharmili in the lead, returns with a tale marked by unexpected twists — Senthamizh Kalai Koodam's `Andha Naal Gnaabagam' (U).

Guru (Ramana) and Raaga (Sridevika) fall in love. Parents pose no problem, but Fate does. The lovers are separated and each is forced to accept a different life partner, or so it seems...

Ramana's rugged and well-toned physique combined with a soft face make him an impressive hero, and his mature performance deserves mention. But it is a lacklustre show from the `Ramakrishna' heroine, Sridevika, whose face seems devoid of expression most of the time. At the other end is Tejasri. Her overt responses and coquettish manner are irritants. And the duets, one too many, are dampeners.

Y. Gee. Mahendra makes an appearance on the big screen after quite a while, but has very little to do. Vadivelu's comedy tickles only up to a point.

`Success ... ' with commendable lyric is a foot-tapping number from Bharadwaj.

The lukewarm response to his first film has made writer-director Manibharati tread the ground with caution this time. Yet surprise turns alone don't make a film entirely interesting. Particularly when they arecontrived — as if the director's sole aim is to bring about a happy ending.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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