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Movie Review: Mazhai (2005) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 78%%78%% 78% (36 votes)
Movie Still With Dhaas not particularly setting the box-office on fire, 'Jayam' Ravi is back to acting in remakes of successful Telugu films, something that helped him in the case of both Jayam and M.Kumaran S/o Mahalakshmi. But what made those films successful was not the fact that their originals were successful but that the remakes were handled competently by the director(his brother Raja, in both cases). Mazhai, a remake of Varsham, Telugu cinema's biggest hit in 2004, is familiar and predictable since there have been several films of late with the same story of the hero rescuing the heroine from the clutches of a powerful dada.

Arjun(Ravi), an unemployed youth, falls for Shylaja(Shriya) and she feels the same way about him. But Shylaja's father('Kalabhavan' Mani) has bigger plans for her and so cunningly drives a wedge between the lovers. Unfortunately, Shylaja has also attracted the attention of Deva(Rahul Dev), the local dada, who kidnaps her. So Arjun is asked to forget the past and rescue her.

The film gets its name from the big role that rain plays in it. It plays a key part in setting up the meetings between Ravi and Shriya as the latter loves getting drenched and even carries on conversations with the rain(though I doubt if seeing someone chatting with the rain would cause feelings of love to spring up in anyone' mind!). But the rain does provide a nice backdrop to many scenes and is very nicely photographed.

One of the few aspects where the movie manages to be different is the characterization of 'Kalabhavan' Mani. Unlike typical fathers who scream at their daughters and lock them up, he manages to get things done by phony sincerity and put-on emotions. The way he subtly manipulates Shriya to get things done his way is interesting and quite crafty. So he stands out among the others, who are two-dimensional, cardboard characters behaving in cinematic ways.

The stunt sequences in the film have been mounted well - upto a certain point. I liked the way Ravi deals with Rahul Dev's henchmen when he is outnumbered in an early scene. But the stunts get progressively more unbelievable as the movie proceeds. We have Ravi and Shriya running as fast as a moving train and the scene in Rahul Dev's courtyard where Ravi battles a huge number of bad guys is laughably unbelievable. In keeping with his last few movies, Ravi goes into phoenix mode in the climactic fight, coming back stronger after beaten to a pulp. But the setting of the fight is nice and is fitting considering the Ramayana theme present throughout the movie.

Ravi is a typical masala film hero, romancing, dancing and fighting with energy. Shriya, who has the spotlight on her after being chosen as Rajni's heroine in Shankar's Sivaji, does a good job. She looks good, especially in a couple of the duets and has a good figure(thats pretty easy to see since she spends many scenes with her wet clothes plastered to her body in the rain!). Rahul Dev makes a good villain, not screaming as much as some others have in recent movies. Vadivelu makes us chuckle at a few places but not enough times to make it a successful track. Nee Varumbodhu... has some nice beats and is choreographed well too. The melodious Muthu Mazhaiye is the other good number in the soundtrack.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam