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Junior Senior

THE HEROINE of "Junior Senior" is not the ever good, all-sacrificing epitome of Indian womanhood that we are so used to seeing on screen — she is practical to the point of being heartless and mercenary. That is about the only aspect in which Sakthi International's "Junior Senior" is different.

The film, written and directed by J. Suresh, is set in picturesque Malaysia. Santhosh (Mammootty) is a confirmed bachelor, doing well in his job. His other bachelor friends (Hamsavridhan, Charlie and Ramesh Kanna) also stay with him. Problems arise when `Senior' Santhosh and `Junior' Shakti (Hamsavridhan) fall in love with the same girl, Indira (ravishing debutante Leena). After disjointed twists and irrelevant incidents, Indira states in the most matter of fact manner that she doesn't believe in love and chooses the richer of the two, Santhosh. Senior is disillusioned and Junior is devastated.

The story offers little scope for a performer of Mammootty's calibre. He sails through the role with the ease of a veteran... yet if he hardly makes an impression it is only because the character has not been developed well — a contrast to his powerful "Anandham" role.

Hamsavridhan's voice and modulation remind you of his father, actor Ravichandran. The young actor's expressions are appreciably underplayed.

Leena, like all heroines has little to do except look enticing, and she fills the bill perfectly. Another heroine, Charulatha, is the typical lovelorn girl Varsha, who flits around in skimpy costumes, flirts with Shakti, pines and accepts her fate. Charlie and Ramesh Kanna make a nice comic duo. But aren't funny cases of amnesia on screen as old as the hills? Nevertheless N. Prasannakumar's dialogue in many of the comedy scenes and its delivery do make you laugh.

The beats in the re-recording are an aural treat at times. Listening to SPB's voice, which adds pep to the village number, makes you slightly nostalgic. Srinivas's melody is enjoyable too. Yuvan Shankar Raja is the composer.

"Junior Senior" lacks cohesion completely with the link missing in most of the scenes. The director, obviously expects the viewer to make his inferences. It is frustrating, to say the least. Take this for instance. Indira, before accepting Santhosh's proposal, says that first she needs to do something important. Next you find her entering a rich home where people are waiting for her. Among the several photographs of young girls on the table in the hall you see Indira's too. Her photograph is put aside, by the people there, and somebody else's is picked up. And Indira walks out weeping! Why? The viewer is baffled because there is no dialogue, at least it is not audible. The film, simply lacks a taut script.


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