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Movie Review: Budget Padmanaban (2000) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (26 votes)
Movie Still Budget Padmanabhan is another movie that has obviously been inspired by the success of Tirupati Ezhumalai Venkatesa. It revolves around a middle class household that is struggling to overcome its problems but just sees the problems multiplying. Director T.P.Gajendran, making a movie after a long time, has banked on the comedy to carry the movie along and has succeeded in that with a comedy track that is not lacking in laughs. This makes the movie tolerable.

Padmanabhan(Prabhu) has earned the first name 'Budget' because of his miserliness. He is infact saving up for retrieving his father's house from a money lender('Nizhalgal' Ravi). Ramya(Ramya Krishnan), who works with him, is in love with him and by gaining the support of Padmanabhan's sister('Kovai Sarala) and her husband(Manivannan), succeeds in marrying him. All of Padmanabhan's plans to save more money go awry when his family and Ramya's brother(Vivek) move in with him. To compound his problems, he also becomes the father to triplets. He brings Omana(Mumtaj) into the household as a servant maid to take care of the children and all suspicion falls on him when she becomes pregnant.

Though Prabhu gets top billing, its Vivek who is the lifeline of the movie. Though the comedy isn't exactly sophisticated and skirts vulgarity at some moments, it gets the job done by making us laugh and Vivek is right at the center of it. He cements his growing popularity with some very funny solo routines. His SUN TV reviewer-like description of Prabhu as a potential mate for his sister and the mini 'Alaipayuthey' spoof are hilarious. His attempts at impressing Mumtaj with his newfound links to Kerala are innovative, with the laughs peaking with the final sequence where he dresses up as a Namboodiri. The sequences where he and Manivannan put down each other in front of Mumtaj also have some funny moments.

The rest of the movie is a mix of comedy and sentiments with a little bit of suspense thrown in regarding Mumtaj's past. Prabhu's frugality is not exploited fully with only a few incidents highlighting it. But the way Manivannan and Sarala convince him to get married by pointing out the benefits is clever. There are also some mild laughs in the latter half of the movie because of Ramya's jealousy over Prabhu's closeness with Mumtaj. By providing a reason(getting his house back) for Prabhu's economic lifestyle, the director ensures that there is no dearth of sentiments. The problems over the house also pave the way for introducing an ineffective stunt sequence.

The issue of the father of Mumtaj's child is resolved cleanly. The director reduces the inherent silliness in the situation by coming up with a good reason for why Prabhu cannot reveal the truth about the father to Ramya. He does this by having a key scene earlier in the movie, which goes to show that his thinking cap was not completely off! Sentiments are also introduced into the climax with a twist that doesn't make a lot of sense. But it does allow Prabhu's character to come off with glowing colors.

Prabhu seems to be making a career out of such movies these days and is adequate. He gets a chance to showcase his histrionic abilities when he loses his hard earned money. Ramya Krishnan, not really getting the career boost she hoped for after the raves she earned for Padaiyappa, is under utilised. As in Paattaali, she brings a sense of naturalness to her dialogs. Mumtaj doesn't stretch the producer's budget as far as her clothes are concerned! She spends most of her on screen time with Vivek and Manivannan and gets to participate in a Kushi-style song sequence with Prabhu. Songs are forgettable and their picturisation make them even more so.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam