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"KAMARASU" IS late by at least three decades. Obsolete in concept, characterisation and presentation, a sense of déjà vu sets in very early.

An alluring actress, Laila, and an experienced artiste Murali, have been wasted in Shanthi Vanaraja Films' ``Kamarasu''. The story, dialogue and direction are by P.C. Anbazhagan — after a point, he seems to have given up not knowing which way to go.

Kamarasu (Murali) is the driver, caretaker and Man Friday in industrialist Latha's (Srividya) house — more on the lines of Sivaji Ganesan in ``Padikkadha Medhai'' — a film made about 40 years ago. After a hard day's work, he comes home to mom, who is a paralysed woman and takes care of her needs a la ``Mannan'' Rajnikant style. He also finds the time to serve people in the vicinity, fall in love with Vasanthi (Laila) and fight with villains. Suddenly the mother dies. So does the heroine. Our hero follows suit but not before donating his heart, kidney and all possible organs to Latha's family that has been badly injured in an accident.

The hero has jumped down from the terrace and is bleeding to death, the doctor rushes out and ... with sorrow and tears begins to read the suicide note! No sir, he is not in a hurry to save the dying man — the concept of the golden hour has no place here!

It is right here that Kamarasu's tragedy and trauma turn ludicrous and comic. The treatment is juvenile and hence even sincere attempts by seasoned artistes like Srividya and Murali fail to salvage the film.

``Padhi Nila Indru...'' is an obvious reminder of a devotional refrain. One or two songs do stir the listener, albeit slightly. The Nagore Hanifa number ``Oru Muraii Dhan...'' in the background of a tragic sequence transports you to our films of yore, when a sad situation invariably had Sirkazhi Govindarajan's philosophising solo in the background. S.A. Rajkumar is the composer.

Murali sees a baby in a garbage pit and brings it home, saying he would take care of it and has the baby fed. It is nowhere in the film after that! Laila loves Murali and likes his mother too — but is hardly around when the mother is dead. Murali is working in the same town, but by the time he reaches home, arrangements for the funeral are going on — making it seem that he has taken a very long time to reach the place. These scenes seem slightly jumbled up. Is editing to be blamed for the confusion?

The saving grace is the cinematography by Selva. Excellent locations have been beautifully captured by his camera. And of course a ravishing Laila. ``Kamarasu'' is melodrama carried to unpalatable levels.


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