Friday, July 6, 2007

Review: Unnale Unnale

It translates to 'because of you' but really, whom do we blame?

The movie's director Jeeva passed away on June 26 2007 after a fatal cardiac arrest when he was shooting for his next film, Dhaam Dhoom, with Jayam Ravi in Russia. May his soul Rest In Peace.

The earlier ventures of the cinematographer turned director Jeeva, 12B and ULLam Ketkume, were fresh, youthful and funny. This movie has a mild dose of youthfulness but glaringly lacks in the other two aspects.

The movie is about 3 educated youth involved in a love triangle. The subject of the movie is so trite that it is difficult to handle the subject without sounding clichéd. Here, one should appreciate Jeeva's efforts, since this is not the aspect of the film that lets it down badly. Karthik (Vinay) who is now a Civil Engineer, in flashback, falls in love with Jhansi (Sada) during their college days. Their characters are poles apart. Jhansi is a stickler with respect to what she expects from her love and Vinay is a compulsive flirt who flirts at every chance he gets. After an implied break-up, Karthik still likes Jhansi but isn't able to understand her expectations and thinks she is unreasonable. Well, with their characters designed to repel each other, I don't know why two such people would even talk to each other, let alone fall in love!

Karthik gets an opportunity to fly to Melbourne for his project, and in his flight to Melbourne he meets a chirpy bubbly girl Deepika (Tanisha). Some of her pranks and antics on the flight are lovable, but does not do much to save the film. In Melbourne, Jhansi, Depika's colleague, comes to receive Deepika at the airport. At this point in the film, it become blatantly obvious that the movie is going to revolve around the three protagonists going in and out of a love triangle. Deepika slowly develops a liking for Karthik, but still sincerely tries to patch-up the two poles. By taking the characters in and out of emotions, the movie does well in the keep-guessing aspect of the suspense - which was what prevented me from pressing the 'stop' button.

I think all 3 protagonists have dubbed voices, which actually slows down the pace of an already snailing film. There is an idiom in Tamil - 'kadichu thupparathu' - which perfectly describes Vinay's dialogue delivery. Vinay's light-hearted look helps in many scenes, but isn't a strength in serious scenes. Sada does not have much of dialogues, and I think her character was such that she had to do much of the acting only through her eyes and facial gestures which she does reasonably well. Tanisha, living up to her sister Kajol's reputation, does very well to raise the spirits of an otherwise flagging movie. Sridhar's comedy comes as nothing less than annoying. It completely stalls the pace of the inching-film and his slapstick and loud style does not gel with the subtle emotions the film tries to convey. I'd prefer not to comment on Raju's (Raju Sundaram) comedy stint in the movie.

The song unnale unnale is the highlight of the soundtrack. Karthik's voice does the magic again as it did in oru malai iLa veyyil (Ghajini) and oru ooril azhage (Kakkha Kakkha). June ponaal has Harris Jeyaraj written all over it, and one interesting fact about this song is that it was written with the movie name July katril in mind which was later changed for tax reasons. Hello miss resembles the song vaNNaththu poochi from Bala. The other songs did not make much of an impact. The background score is kept alive just by the tune of unnale unnale and is otherwise quite dull.

Other interesting trivia about the movie is that Arya and Sonia Agarwal refused when offered the lead roles in this film.

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