As stale as it gets - Tirupathi

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Genre: Sentiment
Director: Paerarasu
Cast: Ajit, Sada, Vivek, Riyaz Khan
Storyline: When he sees the true colours of his friend, the hero decides to punish him.
Bottomline: Please!!!In AVM Productions' `Tirupathi' (U), writer-director Paerarasu travels backwards in time at breakneck speed to present a story that can be traced to the 1970s. Friend turning foul, hero realising it after every dunderhead in the world has, sister sentiment which gains momentum only when she dies, vendetta, and of course, a glam factor for a heroine ... hmmm ... how long will this formulaic package go on? Tirupathi (Ajit) runs a sound service that takes care of the mike system at small functions. A good friend of his (or so he thinks) is Suri (Riyaz Khan). Leaving his sister's (Deepu) side when she is being rushed to the hospital for delivery, to help out Suri, he loses her forever and understands the man's villainy too late.

Key factors

It is time Ajit thought of putting on a little more weight. The gaunt look has to go. Compared to his earlier films, his performance is low-key. The actor has his punch line, no doubt, but surprisingly they are few and far between. Ajit needn't get desperate. Especially when he has solid makers like Ravikumar and Bala backing him. The initial scenes show that he can shine in comedy too. But Paerarasu's choice of subject for comedy is bizarre. However to be fair to him, his lyrics and dialogue are saving graces. Only that when he stretches it too far the dialogue begins to sound like T. Rajendar. Disappearing on and off, Sada has little to do except look beautiful. She does. Riyaz Khan is shaping up as a suave villain. Livingston and `Pyramid' Natarajan are clichés you've had enough of. By the way, what is Fathima Babu doing in the film? Suddenly you see a very progressive thinker in Paerarasu, when Natarajan evinces a lot of care for his stepson! GK's art is an alluring feature of the dance numbers (`Pudhu Veedu' in particular) — the sets and colour schemes that blend with the costume are a viewer's delight. Saravanan's camera captures them beautifully. Background score is a din and songs have no semblance of melody or feel — Bharadwaj hasn't bothered much. You feel like asking `You too AVM?' Not that the imposing banner has not made completely commercial films — they have, with heroes such as Kamal and Rajini, but how long can they tow the same old line? Replace Ajit with Vijay and rehash Paerarasu's `Thiruppachi' and `Sivakasi,' you have AVM's `Tirupathi.' Paerarasu, in a small role, stomps and struts on screen (something which even Ajit doesn't do), but the purpose perplexes!MALATHI RANGARAJAN



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