A film which had been confined to the cans for nearly five years has finally seen the light of day. But the significant aspect is that Chathurangam (U) doesn't have a dated feel about it and is as good as any recent product. Except for a vague reference to George Bush!

With Nanban, the Shankar film in the pipeline, giving a boost to Srikanth's saleability, and Sonia Agarwal's re-entry into films, Chathurangam could augur well at last for filmmaker Karu Pazhaniappan. ‘Jeyikka Povadhu Yaaru?' is Chathurangam's tagline. As far as the film is concerned, the query has gone on for too long.

The formidable tech team of composer Vidyasagar, art ace Rajeevan and cinematographer R. Divakaran which put up an impressive show for Pazhaniappan's Parthiban Kanavu, comes together for Chathurangam. The film went on the floors after …Kanavu turned up trumps.

As a subject based on the life of a straightforward investigative journalist, and the trials he undergoes because of his profession, Chathurangam could remind the viewer of the recent blockbuster, Ko, though Chathurangam was completed much earlier. However, the similarity ends there. Tirupatisamy (Srikanth) goes to any extent to get to the bottom of criminal acts and corruption in high places. But when it leads to the kidnap of his girl friend Sandhya (Sonia Agarwal), he is shattered. He has to first find out who the enemy is and then save Sandhya. Thus begins the game of chess that moves on till one is checkmated.

Srikanth looks every inch the part — it is his dialogue delivery that needs honing. It sounds too tutored. A closely-cropped hairstyle in a scene, a well-groomed look in the next, and again back to the earlier appearance! The discrepancy is odd — and obvious too.

Sonia appears gentle and fragile, and the qualities add to the sympathy you develop for the character.

Thankfully Chathurangam doesn't have a comedy track to distract you or protract the proceedings. And hence the tempo is maintained for the most part. But the pace obstructer is seen in the form of the absolutely unwarranted duet, ‘Ambuli Mama.' ‘Vizhiyum Vizhiyum' that bears the stamp of a soothing Vidyasagar melody has been a chartbuster for years now. And the filming of it is equally engaging.

Divakaran deserves mention for the way he helps the tale travel through the congested by-lanes and narrow alleys of Chennai. The lighting in these scenes is particularly apt.

Karu Pazhaniappan's move to play hero in Mandira Punnagai didn't pay off. But he is a capable technician, and he proves it yet again.

A strong story with a neat screenplay ought to succeed — Chathurangam falls in this category.


Genre: Thriller

Director: Karu Pazhaniappan

Cast: Srikanth, Sonia Agarwal

Storyline: A sincere journalist is shocked when his fiancée is kidnapped. And he is clueless about the enemy, who is watching his every move.

Bottomline: Deserves to win