Brain and brawn, Arjun style

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Genre: Action
Director: Arjun
Cast: Arjun, Vivek, Gazala, Vedika
Storyline: Revenge for his parents' murder in cold blood turns Kasi into a henchman and do-gooder at the same time!
Bottomline: Usual Arjun fare.Justifying the prefix — Action King — Arjun comes out with a stunt-filled show once again in Sriram Film International and Spice Team Entertainment's bilingual in Telugu and Tamil, `Madrasi.' Arjun is not just the hero of `Madrasi' (A). The story, screenplay and direction are also his. The intelligent Kasi (Arjun) forges ahead in his mission of punishing the erring. Orphaned as a child by three murderers, who kill his parents in cold blood, Kasi is not going to rest till he wreaks his revenge. But vendetta is not the mainstay of `Madrasi.' It's only part of it. Action shifts to Mumbai's underworld, headed by brothers Ravi (Rajkapoor) and Mani (`Fefsi' Vijayan.) Kasi joins Ravi, and he finds his match in another invincible thug Shiva, a rival who works for Mani. Shouldering the onus of direction for the eighth time and that of hero for the 137th time, a much trimmer Arjun continues to stun you with his stunts. And anyway histrionics has been no big deal for the seasoned hero. Popular Telugu actor Jagapathi Babu ventures into the Tamil scene in a dominant role as Shiva, and makes quite an impression as a henchman with a loving family. Gazala has very little to do. But for the first time you see her as a homely, sari clad young wife. Vedika as Arjun's girl friend Anjali, is an appealing find. Vivek, our modern day version of yesteryear's M. R. Radha, offers some enjoyable moments.Failure in lip sync is a noticeable low point in certain scenes. And till the end you are not very sure whether Kasi is a criminal, a mastermind from the law enforcing side or one whose vindictive streak makes him a henchman.

Special credits

K. S. Selvaraj's camera does commendable work in `Madrasi.' The canning of the moving train sequence deserves special mention. Incidentally, you've seen two-wheeler, three and four-wheeler chases. But a train chasing another is what Arjun has conceived! Imman's loudness spree continues. `Oru Unmai Sollava' is a pleasant exception — the pallavi in particular. Again only in this sequence does choreographer Raju Sundaram make his presence felt. Kudos to the action choreographers (`Powerfast' Karuppiah; Allen Ameen) and the stuntmen! As a team they've done astounding work. You do understand Arjun's sincerity in trying out a different storyline within the restricted ambit of action, sentiment, romance and comedy. Yet after a point you can't help feeling that you've seen most of it many times before. However Arjun's target audience may help the `Madrasi' cruise comfortably. MALATHI RANGARAJAN



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