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For a joint family and against -- Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar

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The titles are interestingly conceived — juxtaposing several landmarks of Chennai and Kumbakonam, the opening background takes you to all the spots through which the story moves. Cool Productions’ ‘Mahesh, Saranya, Matrum Palar’ (U) is a neat family film. It is also true that things are unbelievably hunky-dory in the joint family projected on screen. And hence too cinematic! ‘Mahesh …’ is P.V. Ravi’s first directorial effort.

‘Thottal Poo Malarum,’ Shakti’s debut, was a dampener. The actor makes a re-entry with ‘Mahesh …’ and the strong, sentimental line should work out for him. Tall, smart, good-looking and comfortable in display of emotions, the young man proves he is definite hero material. A little more honing on the acting front (The fixed smile on his face is perplexing at times.) should do the trick. Mahesh’s (Shakti) family comprises his parents, brother, sisters, brother in law and a battalion of kids. They are a cheerful lot. His younger sister Keerthana (Charanya Mohan) is engaged to be married. But a few days before the event, she meets with an accident. Nothing major, but the family begins to face problems one after the other. The culmination point is when Shakti is forced to choose between Keerthana’s happiness and the love of his life, Saranya …

Till the half way mark, things move slowly, but in the all-pervading joie de vivre you forget about the tempo. Later a cascade of incidents lends momentum.

Sandhya’s performance is a let-down. With a heavily made up face and artificial expressions, she is a far cry from the newcomer of ‘Kaadhal’ who stole hearts with a natural show.

Irksome aspects

A girl’s neck has been slit (deft use of graphics accentuates the impact here.) and she is bleeding to death in full public view at the railway station. But none stops to look or help. In fact, suddenly the place is completely empty! A mother talks to her son on the mobile, knowing very well he’s riding on a bike. It results in an accident, but she doesn’t show guilt or regret! The family that is supposed to be very close-knit gets too selfish and none gives an iota of thought to the feelings of the young man! Discrepancies such as these are irksome aspects of the film.

‘Mahesh …’ has eight songs but they have been intelligently shot, sometimes as montages, and hence help the story move forward. SPB regales the listener with Vidyasagar’s melodious number, ‘Vaigarai Paniyae.’

When scenes move from the recent to the present and back, confusion sets in at times. But thanks to editor Mohan Kumar and director Ravi, it isn’t much.

What begins as a cheerful family entertainer takes a serious turn in the climax. The finale is shocking and suspenseful but helps sustain ‘Mahesh, Saranya, Matrum Palar.’

Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar

Genre: Romance

Director: P.V. Ravi

Cast: Shakti, Sandhya, Charanya Mohan

Storyline: Mahesh and Saranya are ardently in love and the family is quite happy about it. But soon matters take a disturbing turn …

Bottomline: Neat fare with a few slips …

MALATHI RANGARAJAN


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