Director: R T Jayavel
Cast: Balaji, Jaiqueheni, Arjun, Arunmozhi Varman, Jenny Jasmine, Ramraj, Velumurugan.
Set in a rural milieu, the movie’s plot revolves around the deep bonding between Meiazhagi and her mentally challenged younger brother Deva. The simple storyline is neatly narrated through a smooth flow of scenes.
The director makes a sincere effort to infuse freshness into a plot that is reminiscent of films like 16 Vayathinile. The fact that the actors are freshers or little-known faces, works to the film’s advantage as it adds a sense of realistic feel to the scenes.
The first part of the movie depicts the bonding between the siblings. Motherless, and with an alcoholic and opportunistic father to manage, Meiazhagi ekes out a living by selling plantain leaves for functions and by working in the fields of a village bigwig (Varman).
Deva, an epitome of ridicule and taunts, reveals his violent streak when his sister’s name is bandied about. To all her prospective grooms, Meiazhagi puts in a condition that her brother would stay with her after her marriage. This puts them off.
The trust and understanding between the siblings is brought out well all through the movie. Meanwhile, Meiazhagi tries to distance herself from the bigwig. The wily man takes advantage of the superstitious beliefs of his trusting wife (played by Jenny, sister of Meera Jasmine) and hatches a plan to marry Meiazhagi . Even as Meiazhagi attempts to escape his trap, the turn of events causes havoc in everyones lives.
The director has shot the scenes against aesthetic backdrops with pleasant visuals. Balaji essays Deva’s role with a clear understanding and consistency. His whole body language and demeanour makes the character come to life, right to the point of the stream of saliva constantly oozing out of his mouth.
Jaiqueheni is apt as Meiazhagi. She reflects the entire gamut of emotions of a woman who retains her dignity even in her poverty and strives to make an honest living. Varman is subtle and cool as the villain.
The second half slackens in pace. Velmurugan’s comic-track is not particularly engaging. There is a scene when a character in the movie flatters the bigwig and remarks, ‘girls these days seem to prefer married men rather than eligible bachelors’. At this point the camera zooms on an actress on a cinema poster on the wall.
There are songs that intrude. The director goes into a retro mode, and makes the female actor do a dramatic old-style performance before the goddess. The final twist is a clever piece, unpredictable and appreciable. It may not be the greatest of scripts, but it doesn’t bore one and has its good moments.