Jun 10 2010
While its cop thrillers that he is most closely associated with after films like Kaakka Kaakka and Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, Gautham Menon actually started his career with the urban romance Minnale. His protege Magilzh Thrumeni follows in his mentor’s footsteps and makes his debut with a own urban romance which he also names with the starting words from one of the songs from Gautham’s Vaaranam Aayiram. He does his mentor proud with a nice romance set among realistic and interesting characters in Chennai’s IT landscape.
Sanjay(Sanjay) is a project manager at one of Chennai’s numerous IT companies and the film is primarily about the three women who play big roles in his life. First is Puja(Puja), who moves into his apartment complex. Starting with helping her get a handycam, they become friends and Sanjay develops feelings for her. Second is Anjali(Ekta), who also lives in the same complex but is rather aloof and the subject of a lot of gossip and rumors. Last is Anu(Lizna), who joins as a project manager at his company and becomes close to him.
Mundhinam Paarthene presents characters who seem realistic. Guys in similar films usually while away their time chatting, drinking, ogling at girls and commenting about them. The guys here do all that but we also get glimpses of their lives aside from all that. Their thoughts and conversations on a variety of topics – unique for each gender but not understandable by the other gender – are completely natural. And there are a number of small touches, like the girl who replaces her beer with soda when her boyfriend shows up, that make them very real. There are no real stereotypes or caricatures but the director manages to put forward a number of feelings like friendship, infatuation and jealousy via the interactions between the friends.
Characters like these make it easy for the romance to develop naturally also. Cinematic and cliched events like the ‘love at first sight’ scenario are avoided and its a pleasant surprise that in all the 3 cases, the couple becomes close before their feelings morph into love. At the same time, the physical component of love is also touched upon naturally(as in Sanjay’s lustful thoughts about Puja in the elevator and his confusion about them) and without vulgarity. There are no loud declarations or long dialogs and there’s a practical aspect to the romances right upto the bittersweet end.
The story is moved along with a lot of humor. The conversations between the characters are peppered with a number of subtle jokes. There are also episodes intended primarily for humor and though these involve the same set of characters, the film blends them in without making them seem like part of a disconnected comedy track. All of these work as well and particularly hilarious are Sanjay-Sai’s dance class and the result of Sai’s blind date with an internet friend.
Sanjay makes a decent debut though he has 1 fixed expression during most scenes. But Sai Prashanth is the standout and makes us laugh even with the expression for a simple ‘No’. Among the girls, Lizna is the prettiest though Ekta gets the meatiest role. The girl playing Priya also makes an impression. Thaman delivers a suitably romantic soundtrack. Kanavena Kanavena… and Kanavin… work very wellas they play in the background. Maya… and Indre… feature some good locales but are regular duets otherwise.
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