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"Allaudin" ... fast moving screenplay does the trick.

VENKATESWARALAYAM'S "ALLAUDIN" is a rib tickler for the most part, with the right amount of sentiment, action and glamour thrown in. The result of the judicious mix is a fast paced film that doesn't sag at any point. But remember not to be too finicky about the plausibility factor.

Ravi Chakravarthy's story centres round Allikuppam, a slum settlement where Allaudin (Prabhu Deva), who had been deserted as a baby, is brought up with love and care.

He is an illiterate all right, but the affection he has for all the families in the slum is immeasurable. And when tragedy strikes one household, Allaudin realises he must act quickly and avert any further tribulation for the people around him.

Thus this self appointed Messiah of the masses, finds out their every want and sets about satisfying each of them. The story inspired by the folk tale of Allaudin and the Wonderful Lamp, slants towards Robin Hood in the second half, with the hero turning Good Samaritan.

The screenplay, dialogue and direction, again by Ravi Chakravarthy has no frills that hamper the narration. That is if you can excuse the couple of duets, which would be claimed as a commercial necessity.

Here too the second number on the lead pair (in puppetry style) has been interestingly conceived.

The blackmail sequences and the chase that follows, shows the hero's ingenuity without elevating him to superhuman levels. This strand of naturalness which runs throughout the film makes "Allaudin" enjoyable. And dialogue, especially the comic exchanges, which are part of the main story itself, make you laugh aloud. And more than Dhamu and Vaiyapuri, it is Manivannan, Charlie, `Mahanadhi' Shankar and Prabhu Deva himself who provide wholesome fun.

"Allaudin" should prove a successful comeback for Prabhu Deva who has been in hibernation for some time now. He's not the skinny hero of the "Kadhalan" days.

The consciously developed physique and the marked improvement in expression ought to boost his career this time round.

The humour in the fight sequence when Prabhu Deva, attired in a Therukoothu garb, takes on the villains, who are suddenly wary, is another enjoyable scene. Stunt choreographer, Peter Hayne, also deserves credit for the scene.

Ashima, who made a glorified special appearance in "Ramana", is a part of "Allaudin" and again does not get to do much.

Raghuvaran is the usual villain. But he makes a mark in the final scene when without any melodrama he just lets his son go. And does Raghuvaran have an artificial thumb after it is chopped off? If so, why does he hide it at times? The vagueness only adds to the comedy. On the other hand, "Poovilangu" Mohan's portrayal is more of theatrics.

Ramanath Shetty's camera caresses not only the waterfalls but also the poor dwellings, with finesse. The lighting in general is appreciable.

A couple of Mani Sharma's numbers begin well and that's about it.

The first few minutes seem run of the mill and a couple of happenings appear unnatural. Yet soon Ravi Chakravarthy adds enough pep to make "Allaudin" a fairly neat treat.


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