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Movie Review: Run (2002) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 78%%78%% 78% (119 votes)
Movie Still Directors who taste success with their debut efforts rarely attempt a different genre for their follow-up film. The fact that a director's second film is the real acid test usually makes them stick to the genre and formula they are comfortable with rather than experiment with a new theme. Director Lingusamy, whose debut Aanandham was a sentimental film revolving around brotherly affection, bucks the trend by making a jump into action territory for his follow-up Run. But he nails the landing with a very entertaining, even if not classic, motion picture.

Rarely has a movie provided so much entertainment with so little content. Lingusamy takes a one line, very familiar story of a romance being opposed by the girl's brother and wraps it in a screenplay that has us glued to our seats from beginning to end. No movie since Dhill has come up with such a perfectly entertaining mix of all its aspects. Lingusamy exhibits great talent in handling all aspects of the movie, be it the romance, action, family sentiments or comedy. The movie has all of these but none of them drag the pace of the movie down. Throw in catchy songs and well-picturised song sequences and the result is a near-perfect entertainer.

Shiva(Madhavan) arrives in the city to attend an interview and stays with his sister(Anuhaasan) and her husband(Raghuvaran). Owing to some comments he made at their engagement, the relationship between Shiva and his brother-in-law has always been thorny but they manage to get by under the same roof anyway. Shiva falls in love with Priya(Meera Jasmine), whose brother(Atul Kulkarni) is a rowdy who has no hesitation chopping off the hand of any guy who dares to give his sister a love letter. Priya, for this reason, warns Shiva to keep away from her but he remains persistent. Meanwhile, her brother gets an unexpected response when he sends his goons to teach Shiva a lesson that will keep him away from Priya.

The romance is quick and falls into the 'love at first sight' category but is sweet nevertheless. From Madhavan's excitement at Meera's sly look back at him from the bus to her multitude of lies that leave him confused, the cuteness is never lost. But it is with the entrance of action that the movie's pace really picks up. The scene in the subway is truly scintillating in its picturisation and the following fight sequence is memorable. This, and the following fights, are not the 'fights of fancy' we have seen recently with the hero twisting and turning in the air against all laws of physics. The fights here are quite realistic(within the realms of cinema ofcourse) and brilliantly choreographed. But the movie focusses on brain too and not just brawn. Madhavan's tactics, like his plan to kidnap Meera right from under her brother's nose, to beat Atul Kulkarni at his own game are clever and very interesting.

The uncomfortable relationship between Madhavan and Raghuvaran is rather unique and adds an interesting dimension to the scenes in Madhavan's house. Lingusamy treats these scenes with a comic touch and develops the track quite interestingly too. The sequence where Raghuvaran spots Madhavan behaving rather oddly and comes home to find Anu making similar peculiar gestures is very funny and the subsequent culmination of the sequence, even more so. The mending of their relationship is also brought about naturally with Anu's confusion at their bonding and her exclusion being sweet. But her tearful joy at their closeness is one scene where the director goes over the top with sentiments.

Vivek's link to the main story is quite weak but he comes up with one his funniest comedy tracks in recent times. He uses several sources like current events(Dr.Prakash, the public's fascination with fake godmen, etc.) and older movies(Moondraam Pirai) to make us double up with laughter during each of his sequences. His comic timing and dialog delivery are apparent during many moments and make even average jokes like the 'tea shirt' comment seem very funny. His 'aping' of Kamal's movements in Moondraam Pirai though, is the pick of the lot. Kudos to the person who came up with the idea.

Madhavan's success lies in the fact that he is believable as an action star and we are able to accept him bashing up the rowdies. He looks handsome and has lost weight to look a lot leaner and trimmer compared to Paarthaale Paravasam or Kannathil Muthamittaal. Meera Jasmine is a welcome import from Kerala. Though not particularly beautiful, she is pretty in certain angles and her expressive face has the ability to look very sweet. Atul Kulkarni plays the quiet baddie well though his character doesn't live upto its initial expectations.

Music director Vidyasagar plays a key part in the movie's success with some very youthful and catchy tunes. Theradi Veedhiyil... is a great, fast-paced start to the movie while Kaadhal Pisaasu... and Ichu Thaa... both boast of very catchy tunes. Slower tunes like Poi Solla... and Minsaaram Enmeedhu... are melodious and very pleasant too. My only complaint is that the faster songs have been wasted on Madhavan who possesses absolutely no dancing skills whatsoever. He simply jumps around in most of the songs. Meera Jasmine too doesn't seem to be a great dancer but her lack of dancing skill is not so evident and the few steps she does try look quite graceful and elegant. Cinematographer Jeeva(director of 12B) does his job competently but unobtrusively.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam