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kadhalar dhinam  - a detailed review - r ananthanarayanan

The much awaited Kadir film is finally here, after teasing expectant viewers with an already popular soundtrack.

The plot is simple. Raja (Kunal) is a poor boy who arrives in Bombay against all odds in pursuit of an MBA admission in Ramachandra Institute. The founder of the institution – Mr.Ramachandra (Nasser), himself a rags-to-riches story – admits Raja into the business school out of sheer compassion. In school, Raja discovers the world of internet and with the encouragement of his friend (Chinni Jayant) starts chatting on the net. Along the way he discovers Roja (Sonali Bendre) on the net and then the predictable happens – love blossoms, but strangely is never expressed by one to the other verbally. Strangely enough it is Ramachandra who encourages Raja to pursue his love without the knowledge that it is his daughter that Raja is in love with.

Owing to circumstances, Raja and Roja fail in their attempts to express their love to each other. Ramachandra arranges his daughter’s marriage elsewhere and asks Raja to help in the wedding arrangements. Raja decides to sacrifice his love in return for Ramachandra’s kindness towards him. However, Ramachandra learns the truth just before Roja’s wedding and urges Raja to unite with his daughter. By then it seems it is too late as Roja consumes poison and the marriage is stopped. The film ends with Roja fighting for her life in hospital. Viewers leave wondering if the lovers will unite after all.

Sonali Bendre impresses with her convincing performance and excellent looks. Kunal seems ill at ease in several scenes. The acting abilities of Nasser are never called upon. Goundamani and Chinni Jayant fail in their attempts to provide comic relief. Zakir Hussain and Sivamani - two of the country’s greatest percussionists - have brief appearances.

The movie is slickly mounted and the talent of the technicians shows through. Art direction by Thotta Tharani is first rate as is the sheer poetry of P.C.Sriram’s camera. The life and spirit of Bombay and Cybercafes are captured beautifully by the duo. There is a clear modern feel and look about the movie.

The biggest plus of course is A.R.Rahman’s score, which gets magnified manifold thanks to the excellent picturisation of the songs. Enna Vilai and Kadhalenum stand out. The sheer beauty of New Zealand’s snow capped peaks, the urban heartbeat of Sydney and other Aussie locations are fantastic in the two songs. The special effects in Roja Roja seem marginally overdone. Oh Maria, Dandiya and Nenachapadi are also well picturised.  Hariharan sings a portion of  Roja, Roja excellently in the climax  - but this is not included in the soundtrack released.

Kunal’s grooming is totally incongruous to the poor background he is shown to have. Numerous scenes in the Bandra railway station are monotonous. Kunal is unconvincing in emotional scenes. The storyline could have been stronger. A number of scenes remind the viewers of Kadir’s earlier campus caper – Kadhal Desam.

The makers of the movie have cleverly given a north/south feel to movie and the soundtrack, so expect a dubbed release in Hindi soon. Kadhalar Dinam will have to count on ARR’s score, Sonali Bendre and its technicians for commercial success.

r ananthanarayanan  

kadalar dhinam main | makers of the movie



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