Friday, November 24, 2006
Shakti (Madhavan) is a young man from a village, with no job but tons of ambition and dreams. As he sees his life pass him by, stuck in a rut in his hometown, he decides that he will try his fortunes elsewhere. Chennai beckons him and off goes Shakti, to join his uncle Kirikalam (Vadivelu) who has a stall of magic tricks at an exhibition.
No, Kirikalam is not really a magician, but is posing as one and his amateurish tricks don't exactly bring in big crowds.
Next door to Shakti and Kirikalam's stall though, is ever-populated with visitors. The reason: it's an all-girls stand, with mermaid costumes as the theme! Velli (Reema Sen) is the 'head mermaid' at this stall run by her sister, and bitter quarrels between Shakti and Velli ensue, when Shakti feels that Velli and her team are unfairly taking their customers away and Velli has this impression of Shakti being an unsavoury character. We see this misunderstanding at different occasions where Velli and Madhavan just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - be it when Shakti gets off the bus from his village, asks for directions and is told to follow Velli, walking in the distance (Velli thinks he' a womaniser!) or when Shakti finally catches up with a miscreant who had picked his pocket and demands his money back....only Velli walks into the scene only at the demanding part![an error occurred while processing this directive]
This whole collage of scenes is animated, with Kirikalam and Shakti trying to woo customers back to their stall, Shakti and Velli getting into arguments and a general state of "fun" ruckus.
Of course, love has been brewing as an undercurrent between the 2 young people...
Manivannan plays the character of the owner of the exhibition grounds and keeps harassing Velli under some pretext or the other, like the rent not being paid on time. In fact, he has a soft spot for Velli, feelings thoroughly rejected by her. He finally abducts her, but Shakti resuces Velli. Similarly, Velli's plight is repeated when her "mora maapillai" (betrothed suitor) enters the scene and tries to force her to be with him; and Shakti steps in once again to save and protect Velli.
The undercurrents of love blow up into a full-fledged torrent and Velli and Shakti make up for all of their lost time professing their love for each other and romancing their way happily through the exhibition.
Meanwhile, we see a series of murders in different towns of the state and 2 perpetrators of these crimes slinking away from each. Not every time is it foolproof though, and at one crime scene, a witness spots the main culprit. He is instructed by the police to sketch and give them a pictorial description of the murderer, when it comes to the police's knowledge that both the criminals have been seen at Kumbakonam some time ago. Going thru various fact files, the police comes across the incident of a bad fire at a marriage hall in Kumbakonam and as the officer in charge of the investigation (played by Bhagyaraj) flips through the picture files of the deceased, Kannan's (Madhavan - the 2nd!) face is shown and the witness jumps!
He tells the police he doesn't need to sketch anything when the face of the main murderer itself is staring them in the eye - he points to the photo of Kannan - it is the face of Shakti, only this one has light eyes...
Investigations into the murder lead the police to Chennai and as luck would have it, Shakti is spotted, recognized and arrested.
Kannan, on the other hand follows the murder investigation and is upset to find that an innocent man has been captured for crimes he has committed. He meets Kirikalam and Velli and plots to help Shakti get out. And so he does, and Shakti and he escape by the skin of their teeth.
After much chase-and-hide, Kannan tells the story of what led him to murder all those people - flashback time....
Kannan, his elder brother and his father were renowned caterers and were commissioned to cook for a marriage function in Kumbakonam. The host was Kannan's father's friend and this gentleman's daughter was getting married in a joyous ceremony. There, Kannan meets Jyoti (Anushka) and falls in love instantly. At first he panics that Jyoti is the bride at the function but is vastly relieved when he finds out she is not. She really likes Kannan too and it all seems like Wonderland.
Unfortunately, the groom creates trouble at the wedding and walks out, leaving the family distraught and desperate. Suddenly Kannan makes a suggestion: Father, this is our friend's wedding and the bride is a wonderful girl. Why can't Anna (elder brother) marry her?
A brilliant idea and it is decided... only fate has to fell her axe right then, when all hell breaks loose and a raging fire attacks the marriage house.
The father of the bride is a good man, and a dignitary in the town of Kumbakonam. He comes to know that a bunch of powerful thugs and gang leaders have sold a large piece of government property to a north Indian businessman, completely illegally at exorbitant prices, with no gain for the townspeople themselves! He strongly opposes them and all their mischief comes to public notice and foils their plans. They want his blood as revenge.
They set fire to the building of the wedding and kill every single inmate inside - but 2 people escape, Kannan and his friend. Kannan, whose light eyes are a result of the fire (he walks with help and not very clear sight) is heartbroken and devastated at the loss of his entire family and lady love at what was to be a joyous, happy occasion. He vows retribution on the villains and sets about cold-bloodedly fulfilling this.
How Shakti helps Kannan get his revenge forms the rest of the story. This second half is full of fast-paced action and drama and the end, as if inspired by the cult movie Terminator 2 -Judgement Day, is both feel-good and poignant.
Madhavan can never be underestimated and his skills in this movie proves this so. He has done Shakti's and Kannan's role well enough that each can be differentiated as a unique individual. Shakti is shown as a fun-loving, full-of-life young man and Kannan USED to be a happy and contented young man, until tragedy struck his life and he became a serious and loveless vigilante.
The first half is filled with comedy and tongue-in-cheek tricks and giggles watching Kirikalam in hilarious action and Velli and Shakti at each others' throats. As for Kannan's stint in Kumbakonam, the scenes are reminiscent of a happy Hindi film like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge, where the wedding function events are so colourful, happy and filled with song and dance.
The action scenes once again bring to mind how good Madhavan is in a fight, like he was in Run and Aethiree - both hits, thanks to the super mix of action, romance, comedy and rural flavour.
Reema Sen is very pretty with her pouty indignation and quick temper - one is reminded of what a handsome couple she and Madhavan make together and this is only their 2nd film after Minnale. Anushka is surprisingly good and very attractive - a lovely smile, a pleasing demeanour and shows as being a promising actress.
2 songs are especially lilting - Kurai Ondrum Illai and Nee Yen Tozhi-aa - and keep the viewers in their seats. In general, the overall flow of the film is pretty good and Sundar C. has once again proved his mettle at combining a good story with good entertainment value in this comedy-romance-action film.
Oscar Films' promotion of this film is all over the cities and Rendu looks all set to be a hit.
Rendu is a good entertainer - with enough comforting qualities of a commercial film and enough twists in the tale of 2 look-alikes to be different enough.
Cast- Madhavan, Reema Sen, Anushka, Vadivelu, Bhagyaraj.
Banner - Oscar Films (P) Ltd and Avni Cine Max
Producer - Khusbhoo
Director - Sundar.C
Music director - D.Imman
Date of Release - 24th November, 2006