Almost everyone in ‘Mundhinam Paartheney’ (U) is a newcomer and hence it takes quite a while to understand the role of each. Hero Sanjay is an exception though -- he looks the part and proves a good choice. And whatever ‘Mundhinam …’ is or isn’t, it is definitely decent. The lyrical touch to the title prepares you for the romantic feel offered.
The screenplay presents much scope for director Magilzh Thirumeni to infuse scenes with a surfeit of sexual overtones. Yet he exercises restraint and comes out with a natural, underplayed fare.
The theme is the happy-go-lucky mindset, foibles and idiosyncrasies of the well-earning youth of today – changing attitudes and lifestyles make most of them take everything easy. And that of course, includes falling in and out of love. The story is about a good-looking, well-educated individual in search of a life partner who is a blend of the modern and traditional.
Sanjay typifies the young, present-day professional. That he’s a novice is evident in a few shots when his expressions appear contrived. The flashback which opens with his tutored yawn, for example! All the same, in most part of the film, and particularly in the light sequences he acquits himself reasonably well.
The smart and svelte Ekta, who plays Salsa trainer Aarthi, (a la Jennifer Lopez, in ‘Dance with Me’) and has Sanjay joining the classes just to draw her attention, is the main heroine of ‘Mundhinam …’ and the bright-eyed Lizna, who plays his colleague Anu, is the second lead. Ekta’s is a more performance-oriented role unlike Lizna’s, which is comparatively less significant. Both are apt, but they don’t make too great an impression, probably because their characters are such – any new face could have filled the bill. Sai Prashanth’s fun quotient is enjoyable and though Sivaguru’s initial monologue in a drunken stupor doesn’t impress much (Sanjay’s reactions are more enjoyable here) he compensates for it much later when he rues his loveless state. A hilarious segment!
Narration unfolds in flashback mode, with Sanjay (Sanjay) beginning with the time when he first fell in love, lost, fell for a strong-willed girl all over again, and lost her too, before he finally settles for the oxymoronic modern-cum-traditional girl guys like him dream about. But is he happy now?
Certain characters seem to be thrust on the screenplay without much purpose – the father and brother of Sanjay are cases in point. And shots hang loose and disjointed at many places. This lack of cohesion is a bane that affects the flow. If Thirumeni conceived them as subtexts, they don’t work that way.
Humorous dialogue is a highlight of ‘Mundhinam …’ And its technical expertise warrants notice. So do the locations -- Thotta Bhanu’s sets spell sheen. The dance floor, the Thames, the quays, and the scenic splendour of London and Venice are a visual treat. The apartment sets are also realistic. And accentuating the beauty of these is Vincent’s camera. The cinematographer’s wide, blue canvas that captures the natural hues of the blue sea and his top-angle shots are a connoisseur’s fiesta.
Hum-worthy melodic refrains (composer Thaman) and the montages used in the sequences add to the appeal. Anthony’s editing comes to the fore here. But little is done to restrict the slackened pace in the first half.
The undercurrent of humour that runs through ‘Mundhinam …’ makes such an impact that you keep recalling the dialogue and laughing out loud for long! Thirumeni has trained under Gautham Menon. In matters of shot conceptions and cohesion he may have quite a distance to traverse, but in using comedy as a tool for sustaining interest, he scores handsomely.