Rating: 2-1/2 stars

Sony Orient's Jodi is another Kadhalukku Mariyadhai wannabe following closely and having the exact same storyline as Vasanth's Poovellam Kaettupaar. Eventhough the movie has an assembly-line look to it, director Praveen Kanth's (Rakshagan) handling makes it a relatively painless affair.

The storyline-Kannan (Prasanth), a musical instrument technician, falls head over heels in love with Gayathri (Simran). Gayathri attends the local music school-her career choice being dictated by the need to setup obligatory showdowns between the lead pair! As always Gayathri's hate blossoms to love after a couple of song and dance sequences- one of them at the usual "music competition". Venkittu (Vijaikumar) and Rudramurthy (Nasser) play the fathers of Kannan and Gayathri and complete the assembly line. Venkittu is a music critic firmly believing in his Prasanth and Simran in Jodiright to decide his future. Rudramurthy, a marriage registrar, is the anti-cupid incarnate with a flair for stopping love marriages that come to him. Kannan and Gayathri decide to trade places in their respective families to win their hearts- a very original idea indeed! Unlike Kathalukku Mariyathai, there are no surprises on the outcome of their crusade.

The director's light-veined screenplay keeps the movie moving at a good pace. He has used the humor of a host of funny-men to good use-Ramesh Kanna shining in particular. He could have avoided the vulgar depiction of middle-aged Ambika's pining for the hero, just for some cheap laughs. Even though it is quite clear where the movie is headed to, a few surprise twists towards the end make the journey to the inevitable somewhat engaging. A.R. Rahman has come up with 5 foot-tapping numbers-the songs preventing the plot from sagging and falling under the weight of its cliches. As for the performances, Prasanth rises above the material and gives yet another breezy performance. A ravishing Simran emotes with ease and parades her umblical beauty in the song sequences. Vijaykumar and Nasar reprise their roles from PKP. Isha Gopikar and Ramesh Arvind make important cameo appearences. Arthur Wilson's chiaroscuros are quite pleasing. Sabesh-Murali's background score suites the mood of the scenes very well. Jodi's sum is better than its parts. But there really can be no excuse for choosing such worn out parts in the first place! A very marginal thumbs down.

forgottenbest

Original Photograph (Jodi): Thanks to Cinema Express
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya