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GRANTED. GOING gaga over girls is part of a youth's mindset — an understandable norm. Only when the same turns into an obsession and eggs him on to make a complete idiot of himself does it exasperate the viewer. And that's exactly the effect that Indra Innovations' "Kurumbu" has on you. Transported from Telugu, both the hero and the film witnessed runaway success there, you hear.

Ravi (Naresh) is a college student who falls for Ruchi (Diya) the new occupant in the flat opposite his. His best friend in the same block Aparna (Nikita) plays the go-between and does her bit to help the romance blossom. What Ravi does not realise till the defining moment is that Aparna has all along been pining for his love. The story that sounds only too familiar is one that you've come across ever so many times. Even the not-too-old Vijay-Bhumika-Monal starrer, "Badri" had the very same storyline.

New hero Naresh has potential — only that it has not been tapped properly. The lean and lanky youngster's immature pranks give the impression that he could be mentally unstable! Particularly in the initial scenes when Ravi sets eyes on Ruchi, the director (K. Vishnuvardhan) goes unbelievably overboard. Scenes seem to begin and end abruptly in "Kurumbu". Thus you have Ramya Krishnan appear in just one sequence before the intermission. When you've nearly forgotten her presence she returns for a couple of scenes that includes an item number. And then you know why she is in the film at all, because otherwise there's nothing significant about her role. (At which committee meeting of a building association could you have such a dance sequence, anyway?) Incidentally here's one actress who looks more ravishing than most of today's young heroines. Perversion and disgust prevail, when watching the interlude between Meera Krishnan and Nasser. Diya's screen presence is nothing much to write home about. Nikita looks radiant, though artificiality seeps in when she tries to burst into tears, and that's quite often. In the scene where Nasser (Ruchi's dad) beats up Naresh, the senior artistes Nasser and `Pyramid' Natarajan make an impression. But the father locking up the hero in a room is too outmoded for words.

Yuvan Shankar's re-mix of the maestro's "Aasai Nooru Vagai ... " is unwarranted and hardly makes an impact. An appreciable aspect of "Kurumbu" is the naturally composed stunt sequences.

After all the hype and pre-release publicity of the film you expected much more. But leave alone making you laugh, this "Kurumbu" does not even tickle.


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