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Movie Review: Solla Marantha Kathai (2002) Back to Movie
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Fans Rating: 79%%79%% 79% (21 votes)
Movie Still STORYLINE:
Sivanathu (director Cheran) is an educated but jobless young man in a small village. Impressed by him, a rich man named Chockalingam (V. Natarajan) asks him to be his 'veettoda maapillai,' wanting to marry him to his daughter (Rathi). The marriage happens.

And Chockalingam's and Sivanathu's ego's clash. Sivanathu is seeking another job, away from his father-in-law. This angers Chockalingam, who wants Sivanathu to stay with him always. He goes so far as to tell people that Sivanathu is not seeking another job. In anger, Sivanathu leaves town and goes to work as an engineer for Manivannan and his wife.

Soon, a daughter is born to Rathi. Sivanathu returns to see his wife and daughter, but again, problems escalate, and Chockalingam throws Sivanathu out onto the street.

How does Sivanathu reunite with his wife and daughter?

COMMENTS:
I looked forward to watching this movie quite a bit. First of all, the director is Thankar Bhachan, who last did the very sensitive very well- done "Azhagi." The second reason is I am also a semi-fan of director Cheran. I enjoyed his "Paandavar Bhoomi" quite a bit. So to see him as an actor was also a pleasant surprise.

First off, no, this one is not as good as "Azhagi." Second of all, it's still pretty good, compared with the usual-story "Bhagavathy" and "Villain" which I just saw recently. This is a "different" (different for the modern age, but if you look back twenty years, you can find several films with this story) movie with down-to-earth characters and good acting.

The actors have all done great jobs. Cheran doesn't have the looks of a usual hero, but he's not a usual hero here. He acts well, and he fits the character. He's done a great job. Rathi, the heroine, last seen in the awful Kunal flick "Engae Yenathu Kavithai," has also done a great job. But in my opinion, the person who steals the scenes with his performance is V. Natarajan. I have thoroughly enjoyed his performances in three movies now: 'Alai Paayuthey,' 'Arputham,' and now 'Solla Marantha Kathai.'

The writing is not without its flaws, but still stands shoulders above other usual Tamil films. The execution is where 'Solla Marantha Kathai' is at its worst. Like 'Azhagi,' there is some unnecessary features in the story added for commercial purposes. There's an unnecessary comedy track with Pushpavanam Kuppusamy (the singer) which is hideous -- just deleting his one character would have notched 'Solla Marantha Kathai' up a great deal. There's also a fight sequence.

Still, despite its flaws, 'Solla Marantha Kathai' deserves a watch because a) it's different; b) its execution is pretty good; and c) because it's daring. Yes, it's daring. I almost cheered when Cheran's character knock the likes of Rajinikanth and Vijayakanth because they dance around with women a quarter of their ages in movies, and then the people go around calling them 'thalaivan.' It's a lot better than seeing the awful brown-nosing that usually goes around -- and shows me there's at least a couple of guys who dare to be anti-status quo in Tamil cinema.

This is a flawed movie, but still so much better than the usual Tamil cinema trash we have become accustomed to seeing.

NOTE ON THE MUSIC:
The Ilayaraja music has its moments; I enjoyed the songs with the movie. But the problem is, they're also forgettable, and don't stick in my mind. Good for watching with the movie, though.

RECOMMENDATION:
Watch it on video or VCD.

VIJAY VANNIARAJAN


Copyrigh 2002 Vijay Vanniarajan
Republication of this and other reviews by the same reviewer is expressly prohibited without the written consent of said reviewer.

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