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Movie Review: Sabash (2000) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 83%%83%% 83% (27 votes)
Movie Still The thrill and anticipation raised by the opening scene of Sabaash is sadly not realised by the movie. The director does have a good kernel of an idea for a crime thriller - a genre that is populated by very few memorable entries in tamil cinema. But he fails to build up on the idea to deliver the goods. An erratic tone, misplaced comedy, sloppy editing and intrusive, unimaginative song sequences cut into the promising idea at the heart of the movie and the results, as in another recent movie Unnai Kann Theduthey, are another weak entry into the thriller genre and sadness at a botched oppurtunity.

The movie opens with Cheenu(Parthiban), who is blind, and his good friend Dharan(Ranjit) finding out that Cheenu's wife Shanti(Divya Unni) has died by hanging herself from the ceiling of their house. The police close the case as a suicide but mysterious happenings force Cheenu to suspect that his wife may have been the victim of foul play. Evidence surfaces which points to Dharan's guilt. But he resolutely maintains that he is innocent while Cheenu too believes his friend.

Director K.Subaash deserves both credit and criticism for this movie. Credit for selecting an offbeat theme and criticism for not handling it in the right way. The movie includes all the ingredients like a whodunnit-type story and the oppurtunity for a battle of wits between the two major players, that make up a taut thriller. It keeps the suspense alive successfully first with respect to Ranjit's innocence and then the reason behind the happenings. Though the pace is initially slow because of the romance between Parthiban and Divya, the twist before the intermission is well-handled and well-delivered and spikes up the interest.

But the tone keeps alternating between thriller and comedy. The scenes where Parthiban and Ranjit try to one-up each other are a prime example of the wrong tone and approach. Both Parthiban and the director share the blame for these portions of the movie turning into a farce. Parthiban shows no hint of sadness at his wife's demise while the director seems to be trying hard to raise laughs instead of raising the suspense and tension quota with a battle of wits between Parthiban and Ranjit. There are also several loose ends and unanswered questions. For instance, Divya's corpse is missing but no one seems to worry about it.

Sentiments dominate the final portions with both Parthiban's dialogs and Divya's performance being overly emotional. Tamil cinema's unwritten rule about the character of the heroine forces the director to come up with a convoluted story to explain the happenings. Divya Unni's uttering of "Maamu", her nickname for Parthiban, is cute during their romance but the repeated utterance in the climax crosses the line between cute and irritating.

Parthiban does the serious portions of his role quite well. But its comedy, his forte, that lets him down. While it is cute when he is romancing Divya, tt seems misplaced and doesn't fit into the role the rest of the time. Glamour and Divya Unni don't really go hand in hand. But she romances quite energitically and shows her acting abilities during the final scenes. 'Thalaivaasal' Vijay, as the police officer, makes up for lack of a separate comedy track though its Sekhar, his assisstant, who raises most of the laughs with his well-timed delivery of even simple lines. None of Deva's songs make much of a mark.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam