ORUVAN

Cast: Sarathkumar, Pooja Batra, Devayani, Raghuvaran, Anandraj, Manivannan, Vivek, Vadivelu
Music: Deva
Direction: Suresh Krissna

A few years ago, Sarathkumar and Suresh Krissna came up with Vedan, which was not received too well, both critically and commercially. This probably explains the distinct lack of interest in this, their next project. The debacle of Vedan had Sarathkumar proclaiming that their next venture was going to be a memorable one. I'm not sure this is it but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Surya (Sarathkumar), a loner, lives in a colony, spending his time doing various jobs in the neighborhood. Kalpana (Pooja Batra) moves into the same colony with her father (Delhi Ganesh). Surya rescues a boy trying to commit suicide and after learning the circumstances behind the boy's decision, takes him home and begins loving him like his own son.

Kalpana tries to romance Surya but hurt by his sharp words, she tries to set fire to herself. Surya, who runs to save her, is paralysed into inaction on seeing the fire and this forces him to reveal his past. He had been a firefighter with a loving wife, Nandini(Devayani) and son. He came into some key evidence which would implicate mill owner Peter Fernandez(Anandraj) who set fire to his house to destroy the evidence. Surya survived but has been scared of fire since. The fire consumed his wife and son and Peter was also assumed to be killed in the blaze.

But Surya catches a glimpse of a badly burnt Peter, alive and well, but the police refuses to believe him. Meanwhile CBI director Krishna Prasad (Raghuvaran) arrives to deal with businessman Rajasekhar. Loose ends are tied up and old scores settled in the fiery climax.

Inspite of the cliched and predictable storyline, the movie is fairly engaging due to some deft handling by seasoned director Suresh Krissna. Dialogs are short and crisp and things are kept moving along at a fairly good pace. The director relies on comedy to sail through the first half and for once, the comedy is actually funny. The script sparkes at several places (the first meeting between Sarathkumar, Pooja and her father when he accidentally spills their milk is a fine example) and the discussion between the secretary of the colony (Manivannan), who wants to build a school, and the tenants (Delhi Ganesh, Vadivelu and Vivek, among others), who want a toilet built, will have you rolling in laughter.

The more serious second half is good too with the director's hand evident in the way he handles some close misses between Sarath and Anandraj. Kudos to the stunt master for the climax fight in a godown on fire, which has been spectacularly staged. Sarathkumar, perhaps making up for the lack of action till then, pleases his fans with some risky stunts.

Sarathkumar takes a respite after the non-stop action of Rajasthan with this role which has more emotional overtones. Pooja Batra is the latest in the steady stream of Bollywood imports but does nothing of note. Raghuvaran and Anandraj's roles seem like extended cameos and the latter manages to impress with his own brand of villainy. The comedy team of Manivannan, Vedivelu and Vivek strikes gold and is ably aided by Delhi Ganesh too. Vivek is turning out to be a rather popular comedian these days with another funny performance here after after his star turns in Vaali and Poomagal Oorvalam

Deva comes up with a couple of good tunes with Roja Chinna Roja being the best.