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Movie Review: Shree (2002) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (32 votes)
Movie Still Director Pusphavasakam fails to offer anything new in his addition to the seemingly never-ending list of movies having a good-hearted rowdy as hero.He has plagiarised elements from all the earlier movies(the good-hearted rowdy from Gemini, the conflict with a family member from Dheena) but failed to put them together in an engrossing fashion. So the end product feels like a half-hearted attempted by the director to hastily put together a movie that capitalises on the current popularity of movies with a similar theme.

Sree(Surya), the son of Sankaraiyer(Vijayakumar), has been disowned by his father for over a year now. Coming from a well-respected Brahmin household, he had earned his father's ire by bashing up the friends of the youth who had asked for his sister's hand. This had led to disastrous consequences for their family and Sree was ejected from his house as well as the 'agraharam'. But Meenakshi(Sruthika), his cousin, still harbors feelings for him. He has since then lived on the streets as a savior of the local people but his father is intent on making him pay for his violent deeds.

Though the movies themselves are far apart in thematic content, director Pushpavasakam makes the same mistake that director Ravi made in Shah Jahan - he presents us with a protagonist with whom it is hard to sympathise. Ilavarasu is very decent in bringing up the proposal for his son marrying Surya's sister and the youth himself seems to be a good person. So there seems to be no valid reason for Vijayakumar's anger or Surya taking it a step further and beating up Ilavarasu's son. So we never sympathise with Vijayakumar or Surya and even after tragedy strikes their family, our reaction is that they unnecessarily brought it upon themselves. The few scenes of Surya helping the locals does not help alter our lack of sympathy for him.

Surya's good-hearted acts as a rowdy and savior of the neighborhood are nothing new and have been seen recently in all those other movies with a rowdy as the hero. In fact the argument could be made that Sree doesn't have enough of them to portray him as the hero the locals make him out to be. But otherwise, the movie faithfully puts in all the elements required of such a movie with a song praising him, a song where he dances along with a group and slow-motion scenes where he strides with his gang members behind him. The fact that his own father is yearning to see him behind bars and keeps filing complaints against him adds nothing much to the proceedings and Surya's yearning for his father's acceptance hasn't been portrayed well.

Due to the illogical behaviors of the characters, the flashback fails to provide a strong reason that validates Surya's transformation into a rowdy. The incident itself is tragic but doesn't have the impact of the similar sequence in Samurai. The final courtroom sequence runs for a little too long but does hold an unexpected surprise with respect to Vijayakumar's animosity towards his son. But it still doesn't explain the extremity of Vijayakumar's actions(he performs the last rites for the still-alive Surya in the beginning).

Surya returns to violence after a detour with love and romance in Unnai Ninaithu. The role is simply an extension of his role in Nandhaa, both in appearance and behavior. Sruthika, granddaughter of comedian 'Thengai' Srinivasan, does not possess the looks necessary for a heroine though she does look better in modern clothes in the duets. Gayatri Jayaram, the cute heroine from Manadhai Thirudi Vittaai is virtually unrecognizable with her puffed up, jaded face and has an ill-defined character. Vijayakumar and Srividya are good as usual while Vadivelu thankfully disappears after a couple of unfunny routines. New music director Muralidharan comes up with some nice tunes with Vasanthasena Vasanthasena... being the top pick.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam