"Ivan" ... Parthepan's intelligence is evident in the initial stages.
DOING THINGS differently is Parthepan's forte. Bioscope Film Framers' "Ivan" is no exception. From the title card to the dialogue, from characterisation to choice of actors you perceive the creator's constant urge to be innovative.
``Ivan'' has Parthepan bearing the entire onus of story, screenplay, dialogue and direction, besides taking on the main role.
Jeevan (Parthepan) is a socially conscious youth who, like all heroes, is unable to tolerate injustice and corruption. But he is also intelligent enough to realise that people should be made aware of their rights and fight for themselves. He can only ignite their consciousness. This attitude is what makes ``Ivan'' deviate from the ``Indian'', ``Citizen'' and ``Samurai'' tales, though they have a common thread. But blatant similarities creep in when the hero, like in all the above-mentioned films, takes up the cudgels for the wronged and indulges in bloody acts himself. Then the proceedings become run of the mill.
The final blood bath, which eventually turns out to be just a visualisation by the hero, is not very clearly depicted. The climax comes later again a monologue by the hero in "Samurai" style but only with a host of villains around. The unarmed Jeevan goes on and on while all the bad men with guns listen to him patiently! Parthepan's story and screenplay slip to a great extent here.
Soundarya as the Carnatic musician Dikshanya, is dignified throughout. But when you see her giving performances, it is Sudha Raghunathan (she has sung the songs) whom you see and not the singer Soundarya portrays. Perhaps, the choice of Sudha Raghunathan, who is already famous, is not quite apt here. One cannot help recalling K. Balachander's "Apoorva Raagangal" in which Srividya also played a musician and Vani Jairam sang for her. That was a perfect combination. Music critic Subbudu's appearance in a couple of scenes is not very significant and only seems incidental.
Meena as the typical Telugu girl is so cheerful that you have an inkling that something dreadful is in the offing. Again the wife of the hero being punished by the villains is a line that is as old as the hills. Parthepan could have avoided it. In garish attire and make up that help to show her as a complete village belle, Meena does justice to the role.
The effect of silence in some of the significant sequences shows Ilaiyaraja's skill in re-recording and enhances the impact of the scenes. The music in the background even as the titles appear, makes you tap your feet. "Appadi Paakurudhuna...." and "Mael Toppila..." are potential hits.
Parthepan deserves applause for avoiding irksome duets in foreign locations and incongruous song sequences that do not jell with the story. Also he has very astutely done away with a comedy track that could hang loose. On the whole Parthepan reveals rare expertise in "Ivan".
All these make one wonder why after a good beginning he should change tack and follow the beaten path.
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