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Movie Review: Varushamellam Vasantham (2002) Back to Movie
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Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (29 votes)
Movie Still STORYLINE:
Raja (Manoj) is an uneducated jobless youth living with his grandfather (Nambiar) in a small town. His grandfather is constantly yelling at him, telling him he is a good-for-nothing, and acting ashamed around him. He even introduces Raja to everyone not as his grandson, but as his son's son. Raja yearns for his grandfather's love.

Enter Ramesh (Kunal), Raja's younger brother and the "good" grandson. He is highly educated, has a great job, and a promising future in the United States. He also has his grandfather's love. There is intense sibling rivalry going on between these two brothers when...

... Lata (Anitha), the 'moru ponnu' of both brothers enters the picture. Both brothers fall in love with her. Ramesh impresses her with his computer skills and his intelligence and bright future, while Raja tries to improve his own station in life to impress her.

Lata, being a sensible girl -- unlike 99% of Tamil heroines -- falls in love with Ramesh, who has the bright future. However, Nambiar, seeing Raja's affections for Lata, arranges the marriage between Raja and Lata.

It is now up to Raja to sacrifice his love and to dissolve the marriage between himself and Lata, and give Lata up to Ramesh. This he does, quietly and without too much of a fuss.

But Nambiar sees the extent of Raja's sacrifice. Raja might have lost his love, but he gains what he had always wanted -- the affection of his grandfather.

COMMENTS:
I have a confession to make. I like Manoj K. Bhaarathy. Yeah, I know. Take a look at my review of "Taj Mahal" and see how I blasted him initially. But hey, if he plays a character that fits his personality (such as he did in "Kadal Pookkal," "Alli Arjuna," and now in "Varshamellaam Vasantham") he is a fine actor. Manoj makes this movie. He is excellent in the role of Raja, and makes us like him quite a bit.

Another good thing is the director Ravi Shankar. While the story isn't entirely novel, and feels like a throw-back to an '80s Tamil film, the direction keeps the pace unflagging, even, and pleasant. There are no crude unrelated comedy scenes (there is some very funny comedy, but that comes from the main characters themselves). O.K., there are problems with the script, such as the unnecessary character of Sangavi, who disappears almost as quickly as she appears. But having just recently sat through "Shree," "Ezhumalai," "123," and other incredibly bad releases, this movie feels like a breath of fresh air.

Kunal is wooden, as usual, and newcomer Anitha (who is also the heroine of the upcoming Vikram starrer "Saamurai") doesn't show much promise. But it doesn't matter; their characters aren't required to do much anyway.

Y'know what? I think that other Tamil film reviewers are constantly showing their bias. If this exact same movie had starred a Vijay or an Ajith, the reviewers would be fawning over it as if it was the next big blockbuster. This is a decent movie, people, for all my expectations of it. It's not perfect. But it's nice.

NOTE ON THE MUSIC:
Not really any good songs except for the melodious once-repeated "Engae Antha Vennilaa."

RECOMMENDATION:
Tamil cine fans, watch it in the theater (especially if you don't mind movies that aren't star-studded). Everyone else, watch it on video.

VIJAY VANNIARAJAN


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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