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Movie Review: Diwan (2003) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 85%%85%% 85% (8 votes)
Movie Still Arasu's moderate success must have given Sarathkumar renewed confidence in the dual role movies where he plays the typical hero in one role and an older but powerful man in the other. So we get another those movies with Diwaan where Sarath plays the grandson and grandfather. But with its choppy screenplay and needless violence, this movie is definitely way down on his list of such movies.

Raghavan(Sarathkumar), an orphan, works as the chef at a small eatery. He falls for Geetha(Kiran) and when her father insults him for his poverty, challenges that he would become a millionaire in a year. Meanwhile, he becomes a guardian to Lakshmi(Sharmilee), who had eloped with her boyfriend but had been abandoned by him. Raghavan decides to take her back to her brothers but learns on the way, when he stops in a village, that he is in fact the grandson of Duraisingham(Sarathkumar). Duraisingham, the godfather of the entire village, had been sent to jail after taking revenge on Kandhavelu(JPR), who had destoyed his family.

Diwaan boasts of one of the most shoddy screenplays and atrocious editing in recent times. The movie has a lot of things going on, which is usually a good thing since it contributes to the pace of the movie. But the director fails to keep a rein on things and the movie soon spirals out of his control. There are just too many loose ends and unanswered questions. Things happen and people show up with no concern for logic or continuity and the director seems to have simply thrown together several scenes in the hope that viewers wouldn't think too much about what transpires on screen. For instance, Sharmi mentions a friend of her lover, who is supposed to help them. But the same friend later attempts to kill her and she identifies him in a completely matter-of-fact manner to Sarathkumar!

While Sarathkumar and comedy don't usually go together, Diwaan is quite entertaining as long as it relies on comedy. Though the romance is silly with Kiran falling for Sarath for no reason at all, the comic touch during these portions carries the movie along. Sarath's shyness in front of Kiran, the karate match and his ill-fated attempt at opening a clothing store all have their funny moments even if they are completely unrelated to the story. The scenes at Anandraj's house also provide something different with some suspense as to how the two storylines are going to be merged together.

Characters start behaving illogically once Sarathkumar runs into Sharmi. There is no reason for him to become so attached to her and we never know why he hides Sharmi's identity from Kiran, who naturally, is suspicious of their relationship. And what is a Sarathkumar movie without a flashback where he thunders as an old man?! He gets his chance here as Duraisingham(the comparison of him to a lion is really driven into us with no subtlety whatsoever). We get the usual heroic and good acts, all of which, from helping a boy study to giving his word to a woman that he would not kill her husband, are cliched. Expectedly, the flashback(and eventually the movie) ends in a bloodbath.

As always, the older role suits Sarathkumar rather well and strikes a commanding figure with the falling lock of gray hair, white dress and confident stride. Kiran disgusts us costumes that actually enhance, rather than hide, her flabby stomach and unappealing figure. Vadivelu once again proves that he is better off playing the hero's sidekick rather than being given a separate track. He makes us laugh quite a few times with his comments to Sarath but fails miserably in being funny when he appears in a separate comedy track in the flashback. JPR rants and raves but his character is too over the top to be scary. Sharmilee has nothing much to do while Anandraj is wasted in an inconsequential role.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam