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Movie Review: Eera Nilam (2003) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 76%%76%% 76% (10 votes)
Movie Still Eera Nilam dispels the notion, raised by Bharathiraja's previous venture Kadal Pookkal, that he had put his failures aside and regained atleast a little of the touch that he exhibited in his earlier movies. Like most of his successful movies, this movie too is set in a village and inspite of its nationalistic theme (of a village sending its people off to war), has strong familial ties at its core. But it has too little substance to interest or even engage us and seems suspiciously like another unsuccessful attempt at making Manoj a credible hero.

Doraisamy(Manoj) lives in the village with his mother Chinnathayi(Suhasini) and two sisters-in-law, taking care of their land. Both his brothers are in the army, fighting for their country in Kashmir. Sornam(Nandita) falls for Doraisamy and he begins to like her too. Life is perfect when the two brothers arrive in the village on a vacation and they are one big, happy family again. But their happiness is shortlives as the brothers are called back to the border.

The movie rambles along for quite a while without any point whatsoever. While we have recently seen movies give importance to style over substance (the much reviled Boys is a recent example), here is a movie with neither style nor substance! The only things happening are Manoj's encounters with Nanditha and scenes that stress the affection Manoj has for his mother and sisters-in-law. Neither the uninteresting romance and nor the unfunny comedy track work and we soon lose interest in the proceedings. Worse, with the affection prevalent in the family and two brothers off at war, we know exactly what is going to happen and Bharathiraja does nothing to wheer away from the expected.

Considering that Bharathiraja is an old hand at depicting romance (even the disappointing Taj Mahal had its moments), the lackadaisical nature of the romance here is surprising. While starting off interestingly with Nanditha's drama in front of Suhasini in order to lay her hands on some money, further meetings between her and Manoj are artificial and bland. Even sequences that appear to lay the foundation for a few laughs(like her tattooing her name on him) dont have sufficient payoff. Maybe realising this, Bharathiraja puts and end to it midway by making it the reason for Manoj not seeing off his brothers when they leave.

Movies where the hero is linked with his sister-in-law are a dime a dozen(Thamizh is a recent one that comes to mind) and Bharathiraja uses the same suspicion to drive the rest of the movie. The fact that is the brother of the two sisters who throws fuel in the fire is a little hard to digest but it works by making it easy to detest the character. These portions are punctuated by some strongly emotional scenes that have been handled well. But the arrival of the army representatives is too cinematic since the army definitely cannot afford to send high-ranking officers for every situation similar to what transpires here.

Manoj gives an acceptable performance but proves once again that he is not hero material. Nandhita(this is the same Jennifer who was seen in the Vaadi Machiniye... item number in Parthiban Kanavu) struggles to emote and her dialog delivery doesn't help either. Same goes for the two actresses playing Manoj's sisters-in-law. They seem completely lost initially though they manage to change that opinion somewhat with a couple of strong scenes in the later stages. Suhasini doesn't have much to do and seems to have been cast as an old woman more for the newsworthiness rather than the demands of the character. Venkat is a strong villain while Ilavarasu's lines become funny just because of his dialog delivery. Sirpi does his bit with some rustic but melodious numbers.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam