Film- Neer Paravai
Director- Seenu Ramasamy
Cast- Vishnu, Sunaina, Nandita Das, Poo Ram, Saranya, Black Pandy, Azhagam Perumal, Devaraj.
After his national award winning ' T h e n m e r k u Paruva kaatru' Seenu Ramasamy is back with his new venture 'Neer Paravai'.
With the fishing community as the backdrop, it delves into the life of a vagabond who tries to put his life in order, and of the woman who inspired him.
A film that was awaited with much anticipation, considering the director's earlier work, however fails to impress.
The story is narrated from the perspective of a 46 year old widow Esther (Nandita Das).
It has a promising opening where the corpse of her husband Arul is discovered buried in her house, and the cops come to investigate.
Esther confesses that it was she who killed him, the story then goes into a flashback to a couple of decades ago.
An element of mystery surrounds her revelation and we wait to watch what had led to it.
The earlier scenes have a neat flow.
Arul (Vishnu) addicted to the 'bottle', is the bane of his father (Poo ram leaves a mark), and the fishing community.
Arul's meeting with Esther a devout Christian, (Sunaina plays the young Esther) brings about a turn, and the guy as usual decides to change his ways.
Vishnu, a spontaneous actor, is listless and lacklustre here.
He acts well in a couple of scenes, like the one where he gets cured for alcoholism, Arul displays violent withdrawal symptoms.
The better moments in the film are the encounters between the duo, at times amusing.
Sunaina comes out far better than Nandita her older version, who appears in just a few scenes.
Nandita's portions are weakly etched, and the talented actress totally wasted.
Considering that it was Esther's flashback, the screenplay diverges to various myriad characters not relevant to the story.
The director giving space to each, doing justice to none, the characters failing to connect emotionally.
The second half meanders, the screenplay loosely etched, the director losing his grip and focus.
A saving grace is the cinematography (Balasubramaniam) which captures the beauty of the landscape, and brings in some feel and mood to the otherwise insipid narration.
There is a flashback-withinflashback about Arul's childhood and the Srilankan connection, but mercifully its a brief one.
The songs in the earlier part were situational, but the later ones forced in, act as speed breakers.
Later, when the suspense surrounding Arul's death is finally unravelled, it turns out to be a damp squib.
The silhouette of a grieving Esther looking pensively across the vast expanse of the waters may cut a lyrical picture.
But it doesn't quite jell in — her explanation for it lacking sensibility and conviction.