Surprisingly, several aspects that you've accepted as norms in Tamil cinema have been eschewed in Kullanari Kootam (U). The scene of action is Madurai, but the sanguineous sickle culture that's always projected as an inseparable part of the city is missing! Friends get together for some song and dance revelry but you don't find the usual bevy of girls gyrating along. For a change, the hero is well-educated and quite responsible, though jobless. He is intelligent and honest to an extent, and most importantly, doesn't gad around the streets of Madurai with his clique that generally comprises four. And Kullanari Kootam has one of the shortest climactic sequences you've watched. It's heartening that writer and director Sri Balaji has consciously steered clear of clichés in his maiden attempt.

Many names from the Vennila Kabbadi Kuzhu team find a place in Kullanari Kootam. It's a simple story of Vetri (Vishnu), an MBA degree holder, who is waiting for the right job to come his way. A seemingly normal task of topping up his dad's mobile phone card, leads Vetri to love, which changes his career moves drastically. Sri Balaji has handled the subject with the right dose of comedy and romance. Humour has been very subtly woven into the film. Your smile that begins with the opening sequence continues for the most part. Everyone, including the auto-rickshaw driver who appears in just a scene, is vested with a healthy sense of humour.

Vishnu's demeanour suits the part of the innocent, well-meaning Vetri. For Ramya Nambisan, whose Tamil appearances have been few and far between, Kullanari Kootam should prove a fruitful sojourn. And after Vennila … it is in this film that Suri carves a nice niche for himself as Vishnu's friend Murugesan.

The soothing strains of the title track are a feather in the cap of composer Selvaganesh. So are the orchestral efforts of the melodic ‘Vizhigalilae…'

Five young men taking on top officials of the police force without much ado may not be a plausible premise, but it's interesting to see them swing into action at lightning speed. Only that the story shows no hurry to gain momentum. Without a hero who challenges the cantankerous, villains who are ruthless, a comedy track that's disjointed, stunts which are unbelievable and duets that come with unnatural jigs, Sri Balaji has made Kullanari Kootam fairly engaging.

Kullanari Kootam

Genre: Romantic comedy

Director: Sri Balaji

Cast: Vishnu, Ramya Nambisan, Suri

Storyline: A young, qualified jobseeker falls in love, but her father lays down a condition for marriage.

Bottomline: A lengthy warm-up session, and then a foxtrot!