CINEMA PLUS

Duet does it yet again!

true-to-life tale Abhiyum Naanum

true-to-life tale Abhiyum Naanum  

Even as women activist groups are crying themselves hoarse about the need to celebrate the girl child and luminaries like Kapil Dev are endorsing the importance, Prakash Raj adds further lustre to the subject with his ninth production Abhiyum Naanum (U) helmed by Radha Mohan. At a time when the anathema of female foeticide seems to be still extant, Abhiyum … which deals with the delight of having a daughter should make us rejoice!

Long ago there was this film called Thaai Pirandhal with Sharada in the lead, which was woven around the line that every time a child is born, a mother is also born. That’s the crux of Abhiyum … too, except here the dad replicates the mom.

The comparison, however, ends there. The Duet Movies-Radha Mohan combo has never disappointed viewers — the trend continues.Don’t look for formula here. You won’t find any. Mohan has already proved that he doesn’t believe in contrived twists and turns. Nor does he promise unrealistic duets and dances. True-to-life stories with minimum deviations are his forte and commendably, he sticks to his promising pattern.

When normal ups and downs in a family are being showcased naturally there’s very little room for mind-boggling action. Hence the risk of the screenplay turning prosaic does exist. Radha Mohan transcends the possibility most of the time, though you can’t help feeling that certain areas could have been tauter.

Dad Raghuraman (Prakash Raj) dotes on his daughter, Trisha (Abhi). It’s the mother (Aishwarya) who is balanced and practical. To Raghu, Abhi is forever a fledgling who has to be shielded. That her wings have grown and she would wish to take off on her own don’t occur to him to all. So when it does happen it isn’t easy for him to digest.

The story has all the potential to derail on to the beaten track of melodrama. Astutely Mohan doesn’t allow it to. Dialogue (Narayanan/ Subramanian; what happened to Viji?) is a worthy accompaniment to the proceedings. So you are foxed when among the beautifully filmed montage songs you witness Prakash’s theatrics in the ‘Azhagiya Azhagiya …’ number. Kumaravel’s four-liner (‘Chinnamma Kalyanam’) in the wedding scene appears redundant too.

Screenplay in flashback mode seems to be the trend these days. Raghu narrates his story to Sudhakar (Prithviraj), whom he meets during a morning walk, and the latter gets too absorbed in it. As they ‘walk the talk’ endlessly, there are times when you are worried about Sudhakar’s kid whom he had brought along! For a while the two seem oblivious to its absence!

‘Vaa Vaa …’ is simply scintillating — proof that Vidyasagar is very much in form. There’s first-time lens woman Preetha, experienced editor Kasi Viswanathan and artwork ace Kathir, who are part of the formidable technical team of Abhiyum Naanum.

When have people ever sought the actor in Trisha? Aren’t you glad Mohan has! It’s a dream role and the beauty breezes through it with sensitivity and grace. Prakash Raj practically lives the part. Aishwarya has always been an under-utilised actor. Here she does justice to her role with a vengeance.

You knew Kumaravel (Ravi, the household’s caretaker) was talented. He just needed the right platform — he gets it this time and glitters all the way! Ganesh Venkatram is paired with Trisha. Apt, you could say, yet more on the expression front would have been worth it. A noteworthy aspect of the characters is that each has a distinct trait — ‘Thalaivaasal’ Vijay, Sriranjani who plays his wife, Manobala, the friend, Jayashri (Kumaravel’s pair) the mischievous kids, Manmeth Singh … Such dignified, healthy fare is rare. Lap it up!



Abhiyum Naanum

Genre: Sentiment

Director: Radha Mohan

Cast: Prakash Raj, Trisha, Ganesh Venkatram

Storyline: Of a father for whom the daughter is everything, a mother who’s balanced, and the sensitive understanding daughter herself …

Bottomline: Watch it for its natural treatment

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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