Going overboard with sentiment
EMOTIONS NOT ENTIRELY NATURAL: June R.
Director: Revathi S. Varma
Cast: Sarita, Kushboo, Jyotika
Storyline: The heroine who is an orphan yearns for mother's love and manages to take home one too!
Bottomline: Sentiment turns a damp squib.
Just as you assume that the relevance of R in the name June stands for the heroine's love for rain, the flashback tells you that it stands for the flower, Rose. All because the orphaned child desperately needs an initial tag with her name!
Yet another woman filmmaker, Revathi S. Varma, jumps into the fray with Idea World I Celluloid P. Ltd.'s `June R' (U). Abandoned as a newborn by her widowed mother, June grows up in an orphanage. Her craving for a mother's love makes her imagine the presence of her mother in her house even after she is grown up and has a cushy job. So when an accident brings Rani (Sarita) and June together, the latter decides to adopt her as her mom! That's when you begin to feel that June needs psychiatric help. However the director sees it all as sheer mother sentiment! Jyotika is June and laughing or crying comes easily to her. But June does over react to situations. The unnatural streaks in her character confound you!
Advocate Amudha (Kushboo), a good friend of June, does try a bit of counselling. June is very close to Amudha and visits her at home regularly. Yet until Rani enters the scene the advocate has no inkling that June has only a simulated mom at home! A line that's rather hard to buy!
Then Rani's son Arun (Biju Menon), who plans to dump his mother in an old age home and fly away to the U. S., comes back to cause problems and keep the action going. None, including his mother, asks him about his change of plan and heart! Probably for the first time in cinema an item number with a glam doll in tears (!) has been used to highlight the agony of the heroine. A ridiculous figment of the imagination!
If you forget the girth for a moment or two, it's because of her performing ability, but that's no excuse for Sarita to just let herself go in this fashion. She seems to have put on even more weight after `Julie Ganapathi.' Then there's Kushboo who just does what's expected of her.
After the titles scream aloud about Surya's guest appearance it's puzzling why the director makes a hush-hush of it as though there was some suspense still. Some other voice (not Surya's) keeps talking out of vision most of the time and follows June, craving for her love. (It is supposed to be Surya, or Raja as he is referred to.) And as if it were not enough, in the early scenes you see June talking to her `mom' who's not in focus. Enough matter to create an eerie milieu! Certain parts of the dialogue, especially Sarita's, are poignant.
Madhu Ambat's camera captures the mood unobtrusively, while composer Sharath's re-recording is loud. Revathi Varma is the story, screenplay and dialogue writer and director of the film. Is sensitivity to issues alone enough for a maker, is the query that arises when watching `June R.' Logic or the lack of it (in certain sequences) irks.
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