Kadalukku Mariyadhai, Jan, 1998
Co-stars: Shalini, Shivakumar, Srividya, Lalitha, Radharavi, Vijai and Shaji Khan.
Music Director: Ilayaraja.
Story: Jeeva (Vijay) meets Mini (Shalini) in a book shop and their eyes meet leading to sparks of love in their hearts. Mini has a loving mother (K.P.S.Lalitha) and three brothers, James (Radha Ravi), Thomas (Thalaivaasal Vijay) and Stephen (newcomer Shaji Khan) and she is the apple of their eye. Mini is hesitant to reciprocate her love for Jeeva who steadily makes an inroad into her heart, the love affair incensing her family members who give him a thrashing each time he meets her.
Jeeva’s parents are under the impression that their son is pursuing his MBA studies until his father receives a SOS from Jeeva, injured in one such beatings. His father Chandrasekhar (Sivakumar) is stunned by the developments and Jeeva’s mother (Srividya) is also shocked. Jeeva refuses to part company with Mini when his father arrives with his henchmen to take him back. The Christian family wants Jeeva dead. The developments till this juncture might have found expression in earlier movies but these events have been treated with a mature head along with some comic element by Charlie and Dhamu, as the friends of the hero.
Realising that the lovers’ existence is in danger, Kesavan (Charly) suggests that they find refuge in his father’s (Manivannan’s) fishermen hamlet and the couple elope followed by the brothers. Manivannan refuses to give them away and the brothers swear bloodshed. A registrar wedding is quickly arranged and on the eve of the wedding, the lovers learn of the unlimited love, affection and care their respective family members have for them and decide not to hurt their sentiments. They agree to part company. The fisherfolk leader is shocked first at their decision, and later understands their feelings and sends them back safely, an appreciable twist in the movie.
The best segment of the movie follows next. The elated and much relieved elders hastily arrange the weddings of their offsprings when the respective mothers learn how lonesome the two lovers are. Jeeva’s mother using the excuse of returning the chain belonging to Mini, goes to Mini’s house with her husband, son and his two friends and James receives them warmly.
Instead of sparks flying here the director brings into play the human sentiments, the mothers leading the show, and the camera of Anand Kuttan sharply catching the artistes at their best.
The meagre amount of dialogue merges wonderfully with those enacting them, an interesting climax. Serious looking Shalini enacts the tender role of a confused sweetheart caught between the love of her elders and that of the man who has stolen her heart without blemish. Vijay shows controlled aggression in his fights as the rivals happen to be the brothers of his sweetheart and dances with relish. His voice modulations heightens his portrayal.
Sivakumar, Srividya and Lalitha make fine contributions to the drama along with the three brothers, Radharavi, Vijai and Shaji Khan.
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