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Movie Review: February 14 (2005) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 72%%72%% 72% (42 votes)
Movie Still Movies like Chellame and Kaadhal had led me to believe that Bharath had a good eye for selecting films with interesting stories. But February 14 puts an end to that belief. The director shows some skill in creating a good screenplay but that's not enough to cover up the gaping holes in the underlying story and illogical acts of its characters.

Shiva(Bharath) gains admission to St.Peters college in Bangalore and soon runs into Pooja(Renuka Menon), who was born and brought up in the US and has come to India to spend time with her grandparents while completing her college education. Shiva falls for her but soon realises that Pooja and he are as different as oil and water in every aspect like likes, dislikes, dreams, aspirations, etc. With no one on her frequency, Pooja feels like a fish out of water in Bangalore and wants to return to the US. So Shiva comes up with a plan to get her to stay.

Director Hosimin manages to create a screenplay that is not always predictable. But unpredictability doesn't always equate to being clever or practical and that's the case here. When Bharath learns about Renuka's favorites from her computer(!), I thought I knew how the movie was going to proceed(especially since Priyasakhi is so fresh in my mind). But the plan Bharath comes up with is not what I expected(never mind that it is sillier than what I had expected!). The director then has to resort to some tricks to keep the story moving. For instance, the letter that Bharath places in Renuka's notebook disappears and doesn't make an appearance until the end.

We've had lots of movies where people fall in love at first sight. We've even had movies where someone falls in love after simply hearing the voice of another person. February 14 takes things one step further as one of the characters falls in love without seeing or hearing the other person. Naturally a major part of the film's running time is spent on the person trying to uncover the identity of the mysterious lover. This is familiar stuff. In fact, one of the techniques used is exactly what was used in University.

The basic problem with February 14 is that all its characters seem devoid of basic common sense. They behave illogically(like falling in love with someone who they've never seen or heard) and seem to always take the most roundabout way to solve even simple problems. If you are placing a letter in a certain place, you know that someone always picks it up and you want to find the identity of that someone, couldn't you simply hide nearby until the person picks it up? But that never seems to occur to the character in this movie. So it is clear that the characters' behavior is dictated by the screenplay and they never seem like real people. And that detachment is always a problem in a romance.

Bharath plays his down-to-earth part sincerely and dances well in his unique, familiar style. Renuka Menon has her moments both in looks and acting. Vadivelu appears as the canteen owner but its Bharath's friends raise more laughs with their comments and one-liners. Some good imagination is evident in the way Bharath's conscience is given life through a cartoon character. Laila Majnu... is a catchy number but the two song bits were more catchy and better picturized that any of the full-length songs. Rathnavel's cinematography catches the eye at more than one place(one such place is the cycle race, which is energetically picturized). One of the shots in the climax, with the camera capturing the falling rain and the two characters from straight above, is really spectacular.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam