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Interesting twists



RACY ACTION: `Sandakkozhi'

`Sandakkozhi'

Genre: Action
Director: Lingusamy
Cast: Raj Kiran, Vishal, Meera Jasmine
Storyline: Unable to tolerate the brutality of the villain, the hero decides to strike back.
Bottomline: For action, the oft-seen yet entertaining kind.

Filmmaker N. Lingusamy who slipped in his earlier attempt, `Ji,' appears back in form in G. K. Film Corporation's `Sandakkozhi.' The verve and pace you noticed in his `Run' gains momentum yet again in Lingusamy's latest. The beginning is buoyant and the conclusion crisp. Vishal, the hero of `Chellamae,' a hit, may not be a great performer but he sure chooses his directors, scripts and heroines with care.

Balu (Vishal) visits his friend's family at Chidambaram and is shocked at the atrocities that Kasi (Lal) commits and gets away with. The entire town is gripped with fear. Looking absolutely calm and collected, Balu decides to teach the local thug a lesson or two ...

Vishal is portrayed as a young man who never gets worked up. So you do understand when with a placid visage, he suddenly turns violent and beats up the villains. But the deadpan expression he sports even in certain sequences that call for some expression beats you! The climax is a welcome exception.

Atypical heroine

Meera Jasmine's character is very different and so atypical of a heroine — the pranks make you laugh and the ebullience is contagious. Her dad, who played a rude teacher in a Bhagyaraj film some years ago, continues in the same vein in `Sandakkozhi.' Raj Kiran once again proves that he's a character actor to reckon with. His dignity and poise remind you of Mammootty in Lingusamy's debut film, `Anandam.' From the position of a menacing don Lal is reduced to an abject state of vulnerability. That a much-feared baddie, who has an entire town under his control, spends days on end in faraway Madurai, just to kill one young man (not that he's going to succeed!) is a line that doesn't hold water.

Yuvan Shankar's re-recording, particularly in the fight sequences, is outstanding. The camera (Jeeva and Neerav Shah) caresses the verdant countryside and the rich village households beautifully. And V. Selvakumar's art makes tremendous impact. Also the eloquence of lyricists Na. Muthukumar and Yugabharati is striking.

If you think that this is another of those villain-chasing-hero routines you aren't entirely right. Even at the outset Lingusamy introduces some interesting twists that keep the tempo straining at the leash. Soon `Sandakkozhi' turns into one action-packed roller-coaster ride — and quite an enjoyable one at that!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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