Music composer Vijay Antony and cinematographer Balasubramaniem have helped debut director GNR. Kumaravel a great deal in Gemini Film Circuit’s Ninaithale Inikkum, presented by Sun Pictures.
A rehash of the Malayalam hit Classmates, this campus story revolves around a group of four friends — Sakthi (Sakthi), Siva (Prithiviraj), Vasu (Karthik Kumar) and Meera (Priyamani), and Sali (Anuja Iyer) and Bala (Vishnu).
Siva and Vasu are always at loggerheads, and it is Siva who emerges winner. He is in love with Meera but does not tell her. Sakthi loves Sali, but Sali’s parents are against the match.
One night, Sakthi dies in the generator room of the college. Siva leaves the college mid-way and so does Sali. After eight long years, all the students of the same class meet at a party. The puzzle falls in place as they talk about the past.
Prithviraj as Siva does his part well, particularly where he fights with Karthik Kumar to retrieve the photo from the ballot box.
Sakthi, the peacemaker, is very natural. After his death, it is Anuja Iyer as Sali who hogs the frames, and she comes out with flying colours. But her make-up lets her down in the close-ups. Karthik Kumar is improving by the day. Priyamani has little to do except shake a leg here and there in a film dominated by men.
Ilavarasu as the canteen keeper breezes through his role. Another natural performer is K. Bhagyaraj as Pazhaniappan, father of Sakthi, who helps the students find answers to all the questions bothering them.
Kumaravel’s screenplay bubbles with youthful spirit in the first half, while the knots are unreeled in the second. However, the campus scenes tend to get slightly monotonous. Probably, a change of setting might have helped.
The songs in the Malayalam original were a hit, and Vijay Antony has worked overtime to make the Tamil ones chartbusters too. Some numbers such as ‘Kalloori’ (Sheeba), ‘Alla’ (Vijay Antony) and ‘Azhagai Pookuthe’ (Prasanna and Janaki Iyer) linger. His background score has also improved. Sadly, the placement of songs hinders the free flow of the screenplay.
Balasubramaniem’s enchanting visuals, particularly in the songs and the night shots, impress. National Award-winning editor Sreekar Prasad could have made the first half tauter. Kumaravel passes the test creditably, if not with distinction.
Director: G.N.R. Kumaravel
Cast: Prithviraj, Sakthi, Karthik Kumar, Priyamani, Anuja Iyer, K. Bhagyaraj, Vishnu and Ilavarasu.
Storyline: Four classmates meet after eight years. A lot has happened in between. Will the truth be revealed?
Bottomline: Interesting, but lacks crispness
S.R. ASHOK KUMAR