Santhanakrishnan aka Chandamama is a wannabe writer who buys up his own books from the market. He has loving parents who are willing to go to any length to fund their son’s lifestyle. Mary is an orphan, an industrious girl, who, along with her friends, sells portable fans. Chandamama steps in when Mary’s groom stands her up at the altar. Love happens. And you settle into your seat hoping Classic Cinemas’ Chandamama, written and directed by R. Radhakrishnan, will be a story of their lives.

But, no. If the dreadful cronies Chandamama surrounds himself with are not bad enough, after an encounter with a famous writer, Chandamama decides to get real and write about love. So, what does he do? Get his wife to pretend to love young singer Yuvan (a reasonably effective Harish Kalyan). Very reminiscent of the Hindi film Shabd. Horror of horrors, Mary agrees.

The story is serialised in a magazine and becomes a huge hit. How will Yuvan react to the deceit? Will Chandamama regret his action? These are the basic questions the director takes his own sweet time to answer. In between, there’s a dappankuthu, with the usual cleavage shots and hip thrusts, and vulgar dialogues. Other points in the movie rankle too. Why should a girl dumped at the altar marry the next man who comes forward?

Karunas’ attempts at playing solo hero in Dindigul Sarathy and Ambasamudram Ambani worked for him and it looked like the actor had found his niche playing realistic roles. However, here he comes across as just confused and expressionless.

It is sad that the heroine in this film is celebrated child actor Shweta Basu, who won the National Award for her delightful act in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Makdee. Whatever prompted her to take up this role? But, to Shweta’s credit, despite the script, she shines in parts. Bad lip sync lets her down, though.

Supporting actors M.S. Bhaskar, Ilavarasu and Mohan Ram try to lift a sagging script, but fail. The music is by Srikanth Deva, who offends sensibilities with ‘Raghupati Raghava’ set to a kuthu beat, but he redeems himself with the pacy Narayana

This film might have worked if the director had focussed on the basic story of a writer seeking success.