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Movie Review: Samuthiram (2001) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 83%%83%% 83% (53 votes)
Movie Still Following the success of last year's Vaanathai Pola and the recent Aanandham, stories depicting affection and loyalty among brothers seem to have found popularity again. K.S.Ravikumar jumps into the fray with Samudhiram, featuring three brothers who would do anything for each other. The only difference here is the addition of a sister into the fray. The three brothers have a sister for whom they would - and do - give up everything they have. But the KSR trademarks of overt sentiments and cinematic situations creep into the proceedings here too.

Selvarasu(Sarathkumar) is the head of the family and his two brothers(Murali, Manoj) are ready to give up their life for him. The three brothers think the world of their sister Rasamani(Kaveri). A rich man('Pyramid' Natrajan) from the neighboring village feels insulted when Murali mishandles his son and to take revenge, makes Rasamani his daughter-in-law. Starting with taking away all of the brothers' wealth, he insults them at every oppurtunity while ill-treating Rasamani.

Subtlety has never been one of K.S.Ravikumar's strong points and with the movie being overloaded with sentiments, the fact is obvious at several points. The fact that the brothers would do anything for each other and for their sister is hammered into our brains at several places with contrived situations and loud, cinematic acts. The very first scene where Sarathkumar asks his brothers to drink poison is indicative of how Ravikumar intends to handle the theme of brotherly love. It sure is nice to see the bonds of affection between the brothers(Murali's reaction and subsequent explanation to Sarathkumar giving away their wealth to his sister's father-in-law is nice) but some quiet moments would have been welcome.

With affection between the brothers and their sister being the focus, romance is forced to take a backseat and the heroines get some screen time only after they enter the brothers' household. Ravikumar follows the Aanandham formula of the eldest brother's wife being too good to be true while the second entrant becomes the cause of trouble. Sindhu's attempts to separate the brothers and their reactions to them are interesting even if predictable. But the reason behind her realisation of her mistake doesn't seem strong enough. Manoj and Monal are supposed to be the youthful couple but their romance turns out to be the least interesting.

The acts of 'Pyramid' Natrajan to torture his daughter-in-law are extreme and cinematic. While his driving the brothers to poverty and trying to drive a wedge betwen them because of his grudge on the family is acceptable, the torture of Kaveri seems unnecessary. Kaveri trying to hide her real situation from her brothers provides some sentimental moments but her ill-treatment dilutes the effectiveness of and the surprise element in the decision she takes in the climax and makes it a lot easier for her.

Sarathkumar is soft as the youngest brother, even allowing Murali and Manoj taking part in a fight sequence without him. Murali, playing the second brother again after Aanandham, has the meatiest role. His reactions to Sindhu's rudeness towards Manoj are done well and he makes us smile with his advice to Manoj at the busstand. Manoj's voice is a letdown for his gruff exterior and he doesn't do anything impressive with his role either. Abhirami impresses us with his silence while Sindhu is adequately rude. Koundamani makes us laugh a few times but his loudness is irritating most of the time. Deva's brothers Sabesh-Murali perform adequately in their first assignment as music directors. Azhagaana Chinna Devadhai... is melodious and catchy.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam