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"Eera Nilam"

THOSE WHO are familiar with the rustic mindset, their way of life and the bucolic surroundings, cannot but note Bharathiraja's sincere depiction of the men of the soil. Thus amidst hype, expectation, protraction and problems Manoj Creations' "Eera Nilam" enters the fray today. "Eera Nilam" is a suitable title for this typical Bharathiraja product. The family in focus has warmth for its fraternity and love for the nation. Chinnathayi (Suhasini), her three sons, two daughters in law, an old grandma and grandchildren make a contented, united family. Her two older sons are at the warfront, while the third son Duraisamy (Manoj) takes care of thehome. It is celebration time when the brothers come down to the village for a holiday. But with the Kargil war, calamity strikes. The young women lose their husbands and the mother her sons. The onus of the family falls on Duraisamy and it takes some time, heartburns and bloodshed before reconciliation.

"Eera Nilam" ... in typical Bharathiraja format.

It is a solid role for Manoj. He acquits himself reasonably well, though you clairvoyantly perceive Bharathiraja's presence throughout, more particularly in the emotional scenes. And strangely, if you expect Suhasini to get melodramatic, she doesn't. It's Manoj's sentimental outbursts that are theatrical — something he could have avoided.

Nandita is Swarnam, the glamour girl in love with Duraisamy. And it's not Vadivelu alone who provides the comedy. Nandita's Tamil diction is equally comical. Couldn't Bharathiraja have found a suitable `voice'?

Ilavarasu (Duraisamy's uncle Chellakannu) is apt. His timing in dialogue delivery and his natural expressions are excellent. Another small character who makes an impression is the old woman of the household, Lakshmi Ammal. For that matter though there are several major and minor characters, each is distinctive. Bharathiraja has worked on R. Selvaraj's story and has come out with a screenplay that drags at times. But crisp, intelligent editing takes care of things. It is strange that Bharathiraja who generally blends humour with the main story has resorted to a comedy track. The scene involving Vadivelu and the mad villager evokes a hearty laugh. Camera (C. Dhanapal) is another strongpoint. Thenmozhi's dialogue deserves top credit. It is by far the best film dialogue you have heard in recent times. Catchy, profound and intelligent, the words will remain in your mind for long. Among Sirpi's compositions "Karisakaattu Kuyilae" is hum worthy.

Their simplicity, villainy, naivety, wit and geniality are the same as we have seen from the days of "Padhinaaru Vayadhinilae". Only the tales are different. And whatever it is or isn't, "Eera Nilam" is honest.


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