'Manam Kothi Paravai' (Tamil)
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Aathmiya and others
Known for his sentimental romantic sojourns like 'Poovellam Unn Vaasam' and 'Thulladha Manamum Thullum', director Ezhil returns after a long sabbatical with 'Manam Kothi...'. And this time the director shifts from his emotion-centric romances to lighter territory. Touted as a romcom, the film centres on a seemingly one-sided love affair and catapults to a major crisis once the friends of the hero step in to unite the 'lovers'.
Sivakarthikeyan, who has acted in 'Marina' and '3', essays the lead role of Kannan in the movie. The actor infuses it with his unique style of humour, which makes Kannan seem simple, vulnerable and innocent at times and a duffer at others. The actor has the knack of turning even the most serious situations comical and this works in favour of a script of this genre.
The earlier scenes depict Kannan's deep love for his neighbour and childhood friend Revati. Doing odd jobs for the girl's family, he never lets go of any chance to be near her. This despite her dismissing his overtures and making it clear that she doesn’t share his feelings. But Kannan gleefully boasts to his friends and misleads them into believing that she too holds a torch for him. Athmiya as Revati lends a freshness to her role.
The narration, which is fairly engaging in the earlier part, takes a downslide, the director losing his plot midway. Kannan's friends with all good intentions kidnap Revati and escape to Kerala. Shades of Meri Brother ki Dulhan here. Murthy and family, at whose house the gang takes refuge, try hard to fit in the Malayali mould. There are too many actors and the director has tried to do a balancing act with their characters.
The chase by Revati's aruval-wielding family, with Kannan's terrified friend Singampuli caught in their midst, is a scenario we've seen before. The film ends rather abruptly, the volte-face of Revati's family sudden and unconvincing. Too many songs intrude and slacken the pace further. It was meant to be a hilarious romcom, but with its humour quotient low, the film at the most is a passable entertainer.