Solid entertainer from a debutant movie director

Published: 29th September 2013 11:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th September 2013 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

JAI

There is life and love after a heartbreak, goes the premise of the film. Debutant Atlee (apprenticed with Shankar) conveys a positive message as he depicts the happenings in the life of a couple who get married to satisfy their respective families. With a past to haunt them, it’s about whether both reconcile to their present and move on in life. For a debutant, it’s promising work, the director infusing his screenplay with humour and sentiment.

The film opens with the church wedding of John and Regina (Arya, Nayanthara), a compromise-marriage, which their expressions and their reluctant ‘yes’ indicate. Miserable in their marriage, the couple constantly bickers, each trying to dominate and irritate the other. Till they realise that they shared a common experience, that of losing their earlier loves. The film has shades of the Puneet Rajkumar starrer in Kannada ‘Milana’, which had a similar premise.

The early part depicting the love between Nayanthara and Jai is breezy and engaging. Amusing are the scenes where Nayanthara and her friends harass Jai with their calls, driving him round the bend. Jai is splendid as the weepy guy who is intimidated easily. Nayanthara looking gorgeous is eminently watchable (the false eyelashes do distract one at times), and plays her role with understanding and finesse. Sathyan adds to the fun moments as Jai’s friend.

It’s the second half that slackens, the director often losing his grip over the narration. The love affair between Arya and Nazriya is lacklustre. The pair seem mismatched, Nazriya looking more like a school kid. Santhanam as Arya’s buddy, peps up the narration here. Arya reveals a rare maturity in the emotional moments. The women seem stronger, the guys not afraid to cry. Sathyaraj plays Nayanthara’s cool urban dad with élan. Enjoyable is the easy camaraderie between the duo.

In the second half, the happenings are predictable towards the latter part. A crisper narration could have shortened the film’s running time of what seemed an overlong 165 minutes. The climax at the airport is clichéd and contrived. The director could have worked it out better. But despite the glitches, the film is wholesome and entertaining, and one of the better rom-coms to come out in recent times.


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