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"Thamizhan" is an attempt at being different... Vijay and Priyanka Chopra, the lead pair.

GENERALLY, VIJAY hardly tries anything different. He is happy wallowing in love, and his chosen themes never go beyond the safe circuit of boy-meets-girl sessions. But this messiah of love, this advocate of screen romance has dared to try something different in GV Films' ``Thamizhan''. And it's time he did.

Surya (Vijay) is a lawyer with right values, who tries to redress things the legal way. His brother in law Shakthivel (Nasser), again an upright lawyer, is killed in the process of upholding justice. Surya's sister (Revathy) also meets a pitiful end at the hands of criminals. But Surya refuses to give up. His mission is to make the layman understand his legal rights. The hero's trials and triumphs are told with force in ``Thamizhan''.

Dialogue is a strong point of the film. In patches, the wit and humour remind one of `Crazy' Mohan's pen. Later the rebuttals and verbal retaliations in the serious scenes are again concise and biting that it would stick to your mind for long. A. Majith takes credit for the story, dialogue and direction while the screenplay is S.A. Chandrashekar's.

The sister who is so worried about the brother's future, is not even shown congratulating him on his initiative to clear the country's loan! Neither does Nasser so much as mention it! While on the couple, Nasser's is a very dignified role, which he essays with elan. For Revathy, it is a clear switch over to character roles. After ``Red'' it is ``Thamizhan''. What the likes of Srividya and Sujatha did earlier, Revathy does in ``Thamizhan''. The hero's elder sister always has a predictable role and this film is no exception.

Love has very little place in ``Thamizhan'' and so debutante Priyanka Chopra has precious little to do. But the world beauty could have done something about the weird wigs that she sports in some of the song sequences.

Balaji, a Vijay film constant, and Vivek steer the humour track along. It is time you changed your voice modulation Mr. Vivek! Even in the one scene he appears as a corrupt MLA, Vinu Chakravarthy makes his presence felt. It is disappointing when Delhi Ganesh, who adds to the levity, disappears abruptly.

Vijay has come out with a creditable portrayal. Revathy and her child are in the hands of villains. The hero hears their voice over the cell phone and is desperate to know the place they are in. He panics and shouts out to them to tell him where they are. Vijay's potential as a performer comes to the fore in this scene.

The man on the street like the rickshaw puller quoting sections from the law book is a Utopian situation. Nevertheless it impresses the viewer.

Iman's compositions have more of sound — except the ``Hot Party'' number, which will go down well with youngsters, and ``Thamizha... Thamizha...'', a rejuvenating song that has been effectively picturised.

So what if the film is a heady mix of ``Mudhalvan'', ``Indian'' and Vijayakanth's court room scenes in films such as "Pulan Visaranai", of course with a new social concept thrown in ? (The ``Mattu Mattu'' sequence transports you to the ``Uppu Karuvadu'' ambience itself. And Vijay sporting a yellow shirt for the scene, just as Arjun had done in "Mudhalvan", is a bit too much.) But Vijay is not treading the weather-beaten path this time. Agreed, it is not entirely original. Yet the change is for the better.


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