'Marupadiyum Oru Kaadhal' (Tamil)
Director: Vasu Bhaskar
Cast: Anirudh, Joshna, Vani Kishore, YG Mahendran, Suman, Vadivelu
Long distance romances in which couples fall in love without seeing each other, meet as strangers later, and realise only towards the end the significance of their relationship, is a theme that has been tackled in quite a few films earlier. Be it cute romcoms like You’ve got mail and Sleepless in Seattle, or the engaging Kadhal kottai, a romance through letters exchanged, closer home.
'Marupadiyum...' reprises such a situation. Unfortunately, unlike the above mentioned films, it is neither engaging nor funny, nor does it touch any emotional chord.
The protagonists are Jeeva, a medical student in Chennai, and Mahi, a London-based lass. Anirudh, (aka Saiju Kurup, popular Malayalam actor) who essayed a supporting role in Bhagyaraj’s Sidhu+2, plays the lead here.
Joshna, daughter of yesteryear actress Saroja, debuts as Mahi. The couple, having won prizes from a radio station in poetry writing, become e-mail friends and eventually lovers. He uses the pen name of Kaviko to her. Mahi comes to Chennai to pursue medicine and joins the medical college Jeeva is in, the duo strangers on the campus. The film tracks their lives as the years pass, and the final realisation of the truth.
The earlier part has a smooth flow. But as narration progresses, there are many loopholes, loose ends and contrived situations. That the cyber-savvy Mahi is not able to track down Kaviko, because she has lost her pen drive containing all information is difficult to digest. For one, she could have contacted the radio station which had awarded them prizes. The passage of time is not clearly established, making the narration jumpy.
The transition of Jeeva, a medical student, to a leading cardiologist in the country (he’s even called to Delhi to operate on a VIP) is not phased out in a convincing way. Also, Jeeva seems to have taken life in his stride after losing contact with his cyber-lover. But years later, he is shown suddenly on drugs and alcohol, mooning over her. Anirudh gets his expressions right. But with the script letting him down, there is not much of an impact. Joshna has a pleasant screen presence. But she needs to lend more energy to her performance.
A love story of this genre doesn’t warrant any action scenes. But the director has forced in a couple of fights. The melodramatic climax seems straight out of a ’70s film. Mahi, a doctor herself, violently shakes Jeeva lying fatally injured and unconscious in the hospital, and then bursts into a sad song right there to revive him.
Vadivelu’s independent comedy track is not even mildly funny. Thrust haphazardly into the narration, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Marupadiyum....’s plot gets lost midway into the film.