A rendezvous with action

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Deivanai Movie Makers' `Saravana' (U/A) opens with the hero's entry in typical filmi style and his sermons on (what else can it be?) love! Thankfully things take off on a serious plane q uite soon. Writer-director K. S. Ravikumar and Silambarasan come together for the first time in this Telugu remake, and with ample scope to sing and dance, love and laugh and fight and cry, Simbu makes his presence felt in every frame. It is love at firs t sight for Saravana (Simbu), when he happens to see a picture of Sadhana (Jyotika), his friend Krishna's sister, who's studying abroad. Keen to meet Sadhana who is returning home, Saravana accompanies Krishna to his native town, where gang wars are comm on. So chaos awaits and Saravana unwittingly gets caught in the thick of things. He is forced to flee the place with Sadhana, whose life is in danger. You also have the joint family scenario (albeit clichéd) adding lustre to `Saravana,' and at the helm o f it is the inimitable Nagesh, who plays Simbu's granddad. The pranks the two play, Simbu's initial garrulousness and Vivek's enjoyable though predictable comedy are the highlights of `Saravana.'

Reservedly romantic

Suddenly Vivek vanishes and you see him in a sequence much later! Would anyone notice Radha Ravi? The veteran has hardly anything to do. Jyotika looks good and performs with ease. The lead pair's reserva tion in the romantic interludes is too obvious. Simbu seems to tread with caution in these scenes with the heroine. However, there is Meghna Naidu sizzling in a song sequence with Simbu. Easwari Rao and Prakashraj make a dignified pair. And the way Praka sh melds with the role is impressive. Save a melodious number, Srikanth Deva's music is loud and lacks cohesion. Arthur A. Wilson's skill with the camera comes to the fore in many a shot. Art (Maniraj), in `Saravana,' deserves special mention — you can go on and on about the alluring backdrop of water and fire in a duet sequence and that's just one example.Can you conceive a story of mobocracy, murder and mayhem with not a single incident of police intervention? Except the mention of police a couple of times not one policeman even pays a visit to the scene of crime! Also as far as the thin, lanky hero beating up huge, ominous-looking hulks is concerned, you are requested to adopt a willing suspension of disbelief!MALATHI RANGARAJAN



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