Director Jeeva sure lucked out with Ullam Ketkume. The movie was delayed for a long time
due to financial issues and had a low-key cast with Shaam, Laila and 3 newcomers. But the delay
turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The 3 newcomers, Arya, Asin and Pooja, are all familiar
faces to Tamil viewers today and Arya(after Arindhum Ariyaamalum)
and Asin(with her string of high-profile in-production movies) are both quite 'hot'. They would
get the viewers in to see the film, which is then capable of keeping their attention with its
youthfulness and balanced mix of friendship, romance, fun and sentiments.
Shaam(Shaam), Pooja(Laila), Priya(Asin), Emaan(Arya) and Irene(Pooja) were inseparable friends
in college and get the chance to meet each other again at Emaan's wedding. The meeting inevitably
leads to memories, both sweet and bitter, of their life in college. Shaam had feelings for
Priya but was unable to express them to her. Pooja was in the same situation with Shaam. Meanwhile,
Emaan and Irene tread rather carefully regarding their feelings for each other.
Though its not saying much considering the competition, Ullam Ketkume is one of the best
'college' movies in recent times. The basic elements of all such movies are present here too. The
students never seem to attend class, smoking and drooling seem to be their only pasttimes and they
get to attend an intercollege cultural meet. But Jeeva focusses on affairs of their hearts rather
than these aspects and this makes all the difference(the fact that 'Venniraadai' Moorthy is
neither the principal nor one of the teachers helps too!).
Unlike the directors of other recent movies set in a college, Jeeva seems to have actually attended
college and drawn on his experiences. Though there are some exaggerations and cinematic liberties,
the characters here are essentially believable and their experiences make us remember some of the
moments in our own college life. It is impossible not to smile when Shaam invents a silly excuse to
get Asin back to his room and then sees his plan fail due to Laila's interruption. We all know the
girl who went out of her way to please the guy she had a liking for and so feel sorry for Laila when
Shaam snaps at her when he is in an irritable mood. And we nod knowingly when he realises his
mistake and tries to make it up to her.
In any long climax, there is a fine line between suspense and irritation and Jeeva definitely
crosses the line from the former to the latter. Based on the outcomes of the other romances so
far in the movie, he does manage to keep us unsure about how exactly the movie is going to end.
But he stretches the proceedings for so long that we end up not caring about how the movie is
going to end and just want it to end somehow!
Shaam looks smart and isnt stretched much. Arya looks different with his moustache but is impressive
playing the strong and silent character. Guys have enough eye-candy to look at here. Laila looks very
cute and as always is a bundle of energy. It seems like overacting initially and is quite irritating.
But she does grown on us and make us go "Cho Chweet" pretty soon. Long-faced Asin looks good but not
in all angles. But Pooja has both Laila and Asin beat in the looks department.
Music by Harris Jayaraj is a nice mix of fun and melody and matches the youthfulness of the film.
Kanavugal Koadi... is an average tune that is catchy mainly because of its positive
lyrics. Ennai Pandhaada... is the pick of the songs though Mazhai Mazhai... is
impressive too. O Maname... is soulfully sung by Hariharan and brings out the pain as
the five characters end their college life not exactly best of friends. The movie is bright
and colorful throughout with a palpable sense of fun and Jeeva's camera gets a lot of credit
for this. Sujatha manages to make the banters youthful and zesty and the serious conversations,
practical and sensible.