None could have titled the film better – hero Ram (Atharva) continuously thinks, imagines and hallucinates about the girl he's madly in love with. Yet Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal (U) isn't all candyfloss. A story of struggle and comeuppance accompany the love saga.

Ram is a software professional, who shuttles between Chennai, where he works, and Bengaluru, where his heartthrob Charu (Amala Paul) lives. The weekends are meant for her. Or so you think, till Latha (Amala Paul again) enters the scene …

Looking smart, innocent and naïve all at once, Atharva proves a right choice. Amala Paul and he make a fine pair. But why does the heroine look dark in a scene, dusky in the next and rather fair in another? It's time Santhanam changes his style of dialogue. The brashness is beginning to get stale. Her arrival takes time but Anupama Kumar in the role of Atharva's mom, proves her mettle as an actor of calibre.

These new-age villains are too predictable. You've seen one, you've seen them all. And in MUK you have four of them!

Right from Shankar, all our filmmakers are adept at researching unheard of illnesses of the mind and body and weaving stories out of them. Writer-director Elred Kumar is the latest to toe the line. He has conceived quite a strong psychological drama with its share of flashbacks. The protagonist of MUK is affected by motivational delusion, he says, and as always, it is an ailment that attacks very few! But when dealing with such themes of the mind, it is imperative that the screenplay doesn't confuse the viewer. He has to be clear about the images — whether they are delusions, dreams or real. Only then can he enjoy the film. Elred Kumar's narration confounds the viewer at certain points. Later, Jayaprakash's confession that it was he who had hit the young man on the head adds to the bewilderment!

The gloss and glitter of the nights in the city, the appeal of even the concrete jungles of Chennai and Bengaluru, the allure of the apartment complex, the sets, especially for the song, ‘Oru Murai' — Kiran's art and Shakthi's camera have surely worked overtime.

It's a GV mela all over again — the smorgasbord on offer is a connoisseur's delight. So is the riveting title score. Getting better with every film G.V. Prakash Kumar reiterates that he is here to stay. And Thamarai's verses are enchanters too. Yet Kumar could have given more thought to the placement of the songs — the ‘Sokku Podi' piece in particular.

Publicity is a double-edged weapon — it could work wonders at the turnstiles, provided the product lives up to the hype. The promo machinery has been in full throttle for this Atharva Murali-Amala Paul starrer, and campaigns are on a mind-boggling scale. So naturally expectation is high, a fairly new hero and a debut-making director, notwithstanding.

As producer of appreciable fare — Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya and Ko — it's obvious that Elred Kumar can spot a winner with ease. Yet as a director, it's a new journey and a different ball game.

Technically, MUK is brilliant. The story has substance and the locations leave you zapped. But shouldn't the treatment have been lucid?

Muppozhudhum Un Karpanaigal

Genre: Romance

Director: Elred Kumar

Cast: Atharva Murali, Amala Paul, Santhanam, Anupama Kumar

Storyline: A besotted lover's mind shuts off from reality. His delusions make him believe she is with him even when the truth is otherwise

Bottomline: Youthful, colourful, yet not completely satiating


At WorkSeptember 24, 2010