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JUST AS in "Thamizhan", love takes a backseat in ``Thamizh'' But while in the former the romantic angle is too superficial, in Deivanai Movies' ``Thamizh'', the relationship between Meenakshi (Simran) and Thamizh (Prashanth) has depth and dignity. For Hari who has handled the story, screenplay and direction, ``Thamizh'' is a maiden attempt. And he has done a fairly neat job.

Angry young men and action are not new to the Tamil audience. But ``Thamizh'' is backed by a strong storyline and a significant end. Just when you think the hero has reached a point of no return, you are told that there is respite. And the positive twist is appealing.

Thamizh is waiting for his brother's (Livingston) green signal to fly to Kuwait. But the underworld don, Periyavar (Ashish Vidyarthi) wills otherwise. Thamizh is unwittingly drawn into the dragnet of crime. Things turn utterly hopeless till eventually the hero sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Prashanth has matured into a performer of merit in ``Thamizh''. It is a change of image with his stubble and rugged looks. The transformation of a fun-loving, cheerful young man into a thug has been conceived well by Hari and creditably executed by Prashanth. He particularly stands out in the scene in which he seeks Simran's pardon.

Simran is not a mere glamour doll in ``Thamizh''. She looks gorgeous all right, but she has immense scope to perform, which she has utilised well. Incidentally, Simran looks much younger than she did in films like ``Piriyamanavalae.'' She looks stunning in ``Thamizh.''

Nasser is an interesting villain — always quoting from literary works. He dons a role that has been developed with ingenuity. Ashish Vidyarthi's wig and moustache look atrocious, to say the least. Is there no other way of depicting an old man? Delhi Ganesh comes out with a dignified performance as Simran's father. Manorama's calibre as a character artiste needs no reiteration. But at times the portrayal borders on the melodramatic.

Livingston is away in Kuwait for three years — he is also looking for a job for Thamizh. Not once does he get a chance to talk to his brother — yet he never suspects something could be amiss. Very strange!

Bharadwaj is making successful strides as a composer. ``Kannukkulae Kadhala'' is melodious, while ``Kadhalennum Jorulae'' has impressive lyrics (Viveka).

When violence and bloodshed are a part of movies these days, one wonders why ``Thamizh'' comes with an A certificate!


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