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Wholesome treat for the festive occasion



WORTH YOUR WHILE: Kasturimaan

Genre: Family drama
Cast: Prasanna, Meera Jasmine, Sarathbabu
Director: Lohitdas
Storyline: Family problems wreak havoc in the lives of lovers Uma and Arun.
Bottomline: As rare as the species.

Welcome `Kasturimaan' with open arms this Deepavali. Sumangala Arts and maker Lohitdas who enters the Tamil fray with this Malayalam remake, deserve to be lauded for not succumbing to the lure of the commercial format and dwelling on a moving storyline that has comedy, sentiment, romance and passion in right proportions. And all these blend with the story to form a cohesive whole.

Arunachalam (Prasanna) and Uma (Meera Jasmine) are students in the same college. The fun loving Uma is always playing pranks and things come to a pass when the serious Arun can brook it no more. Squabbles give way to profound love, and Uma helps him enter the Civil Services. And when he returns as the District Assistant Collector to marry Uma it's not going to be easy.

It is a worthy break for up and coming actor Prasanna and he has used the opportunity to the optimum. As a responsible son and a committed lover, he lives the role. Expressive eyes are Prasanna's plus. Meera Jasmine proves her mettle, getting into the skin of the character beautifully and revealing various dimensions of her performing ability. Vinodhini returns to the big screen after quite a while with a very appealing performance in `Kasturimaan.' Most of the characters — be it the loud and brash mother of the villain, Arun's grandma, VMC. Haneefa, or Sarathbabu with his subdued enactment — have a uniqueness about them. The immense restraint that the otherwise unscrupulous cop Nagarajan (Shammi) who lusts for his sister in law Uma shows towards her till the end, is not entirely believable.

Pithy, sensible dialogue (Jayamohan) is a significant aspect. And Ilaiyaraja is another asset of `Kasturimaan.'

The re-recording at times has a `Kadhalukku Mariyadhai' touch, while the melodies are thoroughly enjoyable and typically Raja. The positive lyric of the `Oru Porkaalam ... ' song makes you sit up — it's Vaali's. Kichas' and Vaithi's cameras make an impression even in the heroine's dingy household. Creditable artwork is Prashant Madhav's. Editing (Raja Mohammad) warrants mention too. Lohitdas has done a commendable job of the story, screenplay and direction.

If you don't encourage endeavours such as `Kasturimaan' and then cry yourself hoarse that Tamil movies thrive on obscenity in dialogue, dress and dance, remember you are to blame.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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