Rating: 1-1/2 stars

When things go wrong, they REALLY go wrong! For Kadhir, despite the commercial success of Kaadhal (Desam) Sedham (the way I call it!), Kaadhalar Dhinam needed to show a flair for a good story, screenplay and powerful dialogues. What Kadhir ended up with was a sagging script (despite the interesting concept of internet love!) and a star cast whose characters lacked the necessary depth for this kind of a love story.

Without giving away too much, Raja (Kunal) joins Ram Chandra, India's Number One University with Nasar's help. Aside from trying to earn a degree in Management Studies, Kunal ends up spending his free time chatting with Roja (Sonali Bendre) over the internet. Their initial meeting over the internet as Raja and Malar, with a few playful twists tossed in, makes for interesting viewing. The film meanders for another 1 1/2 hours over how Kunal and Sonali manage to convey their love to each other; how Nasar complicates things for them and how, if at all, they live happily ever after. Kadhir seems to have struggled immensely in finding a steady direction for the film. There is no inherent element of Oodal to build on the Kaadhal in this film (something that Kaadhal Kavidhai succeeded in; building a strong & humorous Oodal between Prasanth and Isha leading us up to supporting their kaadhal in the end!) Kunal and Sonali readily exchange photographs in mechanical fashion, when it would have been fun to watch them dodge each other for a little while. When both Kunal and Sonali accidentally bump into each other at the netcafe, neither show surprise, anger or any other acceptable emotion to generate some audience interest in their love. Kadhir faulters once again in these aspects. He builds artificial personalities for Kunal and Sonali with 'common likes' in Leo Tolstoy, French plaits, Roses and Zakir Hussein, but never attempts to create a playful, yet sincere approach that teenagers truly undertake in matters of the heart.

Kaadhalar Dhinam AdvertisementAs someone who has experienced the ups and downs of internet kaadhal myself, I felt that Kaadhalar Dhinam appeared to be a film muddled with too many issues (child labor, internet kaadhal, rich man-poor man psychology, love till you die etc.), when it had to deal with only one: Internet Love.  This film could have definitely been handled better by a person who has had some experience chatting with others over the internet.  The suspense and the range of emotions one goes through while chatting with an unknown person over the internet is something that one can implement in film only if he/she has some basic understanding of the concept.  Kadhir's approach lacked the spice, sincerity and originality that are so important to delivering a film of this nature!

Poor Kunal, ivar debut 'danaal' aagi vittadhu!.. He faces the very difficult role of a shy teenager hopelessly in love, but concludes shedding more tears than doing anything else. His shy appearance and boyish looks do earn him a few extra points.  Unfortunately, his sincere love and the audience interest wilt like the roja plant that he takes care of in the film. Sonali appears extremely beautiful in almost all the songs, with very little acting expected from her.  Nasar is lost in the proceedings especially when he takes up the thankless job of writing a love letter to his own daughter on Kunal's behalf and when he relates the winding and torturous flashback of his sister's death. Goundamani and Chinni Jayanth are annoying, loud and disruptive (to this soft love story!), but Chinni salvages a few moments with one where he sings Gilmaa poo endhan Gilmaa poo while watering Kunal's Roja Chedi.

P.C.Sriram's cinematography gains full merit only during the Yenna Vilai Azhagay song, but loses considerable ground during the course of the film. Lenin & V.T.Vijayan's editing could have been more crisp while A.R.Rahman's songs though relatively dull, (as compared to Musthafa Musthafa, Anbe Anbe and Hello Doctor in Kaadhal Desam) musters a little respect for this film, which loses its integrity in all other aspects. Rambha scrounges for screen time in Oh Maria (the cute aspect being the Blockbuster Video/Ally McBeal dancing baby sequence). The fact that all six songs in the film had six different dance choreographers indicates a certain jumpiness and inconsistency in concept and implementation of dance steps and picturization. On several instances, Venki's graphics seem artificial and pointless to the happenings on screen.  If you have no great expectations and haven't seen the Hollywood film, You've Got Mail (if you have, I am not sure you would want to see KD!) then Kaadhalar Dhinam might interest you. Otherwise, it is yet another Kaadhal Sedham all over again!..

Sandya Krishna

Original Photograph (Kaadhalar Dhinam Advertisement): Thanks to Cinema Express
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya