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Movie Review: Rojakootam (2002) Back to Movie
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Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (55 votes)
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A young man named Ilango (Srikaanth) falls in love at first sight -- of course -- with a girl named Mano (Bhoomika). Ilango is the son of a caring mother (Radhika) and a stern but loving father (Raguvaran). He also has a best friend Sriram (Ajay) whose sights are all set on going to Libya (Libya?!). Mano, on the other hand, is the daughter of a strict and stern police officer, played by yesteryear great Rekha in a totally unflattering appearance, and Rekha wants her daughter to marry only a rich man. The twist comes, predictably enough, when Ilango realizes Mano is his best friend Sriram's lover. He is informed of this just before Sriram climbs a plane and heads off to Libya, also telling Ilango not to let anyone else know of his and Mano's love until his return. While Sriram is in Libya, however, Rekha engages Mano to be married to a rich man's son. Ilango bursts onto the scene to save his best friend's lover from this forced marriage, but circumstances make everyone suspect that it is Ilango and Mano who are in love. Both Ilango's and Mano's families ostracize them, and Ilango and Mano are forced to take up a home together, ensuing their platonic relationship until Sriram returns from Libya.

The themes have been done. The "my lover is my best friend's lover" thing has been done countless times before; the "everyone suspects us but we're not in love" theme has been done in Aasaiyil Oru Kaditham and Kaadhalae Nimathi. However, Sasi (whose first venture was the surprise Livingston hit Sollaamalae proves to be a good mixer. He has churned out if not an excellent, at least an entertaining movie. But the two things that save this movie are one -- Srikaanth. This new find carries himself very well and I predict a good future for him. He might not be as popular as Shaam, and he does have some distance yet to go in the acting department, but there is something so everyman about him that he is instantly likeable. If he picks his roles right in the future, he could have a good future. And two -- the biggest one: Bharadwaj's excellent music. Every song (except for that needless horrible "Subbamma") is nothing short of wonderful and breathtaking. This was a wonderful album, and the music is used nicely in the movie as well. My favorite song is "Uyir Konda Rojaavae." Bhoomika -- no, not so good. She was good in Bhadri but maybe that was because in that role, she's an everygirl and no one falls flat for her based on looks alone. In this movie, three guys fall in love with her, and two of them were at first sight. She's really not that pretty, and in acting, she has a way to go. The characterizations are all good -- except for Rekha. This is one angle where Sasi has failed almost totally. Her character, while she plays a part in the storyline, is so loud and obnoxious that whenever she appears, you feel like strangling her. And how the former greats have fallen, huh? Mediocre storyline, nice execution, beautiful songs, and a good lead actor. This may not be the combination for the best movie of the year, but it's certainly the combination for a movie you could watch and enjoy.

Like I said, nothing short of breathtaking. Only two complaints: get rid of "Subbamma," for crying out loud, and whose bright idea was it to exclude "Azhagin Azhagae" from the movie? That was the best song on the album. They could've at least used "Azhagin" instead of "Subbamma."

Sure, watch this one on video. If you're a movie fan, then you might even go to the theater.


Copyrigh 2002 Vijay Vanniarajan
Republication of this and other reviews by the same reviewer is expressly prohibited without the written consent of said reviewer.

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