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Faithfully formulaic



EFFECTIVELY UNDERPLAYED: `Jayam' Ravi and Kamna in Idhaya Thirudan.

Idhaya Thirudan

Genre: Romance
Director: Saran
Cast: `Jayam' Ravi, Kamna, Prakashraj
Storyline: Deepika gets Mahesh into trouble, but he still falls for her.
Bottomline: Set to steal hearts. Will he?

Usually it's the leading lady's dad who is a criminal. For a change, both the hero's and the heroine's fathers are bad men in Kavithalaya's `Idhaya Thirudan' (A). But they are two of the most inert, harmless villains you will come across in cinema. The innovativeness ends there. The long, ardent lip-kissing sequence and the heroine's daring-to-bare approach are just usual ploys to draw crowds. When the movie begins — with a strong concept woven around a seemingly upright police officer and a commanding Home Secretary — you sit up for some interesting action. But things fizzle out when the tale takes a turn towards the romantic.

A trick played by Deepika (Kamna) inadvertently gets T. Mahesh (`Jayam' Ravi) into trouble with the police. The problem continues and culminates in his being charged with kidnapping Deepika, whom he had never even met until then. And the moment he does, the fire of love (not anger as you would expect) is ignited! He tries to woo her, but in vain and at one point it appears as if the assistant commissioner of police (Prakashraj) may win her hand!

Originality impresses

In all fairness, among the new crop of heroes, Ravi is one of the few who doesn't get melodramatic or unnaturally worked up in scenes in which he has to establish his heroism. His reactions are original and appealingly underplayed. And thankfully there's very little gimmickry.

Even if it's a college milieu, there's a limit to which a student will go. Deepika crosses it with a devil-may-care attitude, but it doesn't speak much of her potential or performance. Chewing gum the entire time, the debutant is depicted more as a brat than anything else. As a bachelor whose mid-life crisis is hotting up, Prakashraj is made to look pathetic most of the time. Waste of talent!

He's seen in only a couple of sequences, but `Kakka' Radhakrishnan makes his presence felt. And just one scene, but `Crazy' Mohan makes himself unforgettable. Incidentally, Mohan's dialogue sparkles in places because of its wit. Gnanasambandham whom we have enjoyed listening to in `Pattimandrams' shines in the role given. If you remember Vani Viswananth and Kalpana in the film, it's only because of their accented Tamil. The screenplay lacks cohesion as sequences are abruptly left high and dry. Composer Bharadwaj's numbers are racy but only `October Kaatru' makes a minor impact.

The story meanders in rudderless fashion before suddenly waking up to an action-packed climax. Sad. You wouldn't expect writer-director Saran to fritter away an opportunity with a promising hero like Ravi and a capable actor like Prakashraj!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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