While tamil cinema trends settle for heroines in tight dresses and heroes longing for love or thrashing villains, there are only a handful of directors like Fazil who continue to believe in and provide clean entertainment with few box office failures to mar their goals. Once again, Fazil is the mastermind behind the clean family film, Kannukkul Nilavu. Unfortunately, he has lost sight of the entertainment value that was so crucial to his last box office success Kaadhalukku Mariyaadhai.
In a time when the young heroes vie for the elusive top slot as the heartthrob hero, comes an almost do-or-die film role for Vijay, after the somewhat dismal 1999. Vijay enters the lives of Raghuvaran, a psychologist, his daughter Shalini and her comedy sidekick friends, Charlie & Dhamu. He acts and appears extremely childish with faint memories of a girl, (Kaveri) whom he meets in a village while researching music. He yearns to meet Kaveri again, but seems to have no coherent plan to find her. Shalini gradually realizes that she truly cares for Vijay's well-being and requests Raghuvaran to conduct a hypnosis session with him. The violent flashback pulls together the rest of the puzzle with details of Kaveri's disappearance, 'Thalaivaasal' Vijay's involvement and Vijay's urge for revenge. The film concludes on a rather jumpy, stereotypical note, forcing all members of the cast to band together for the family-photo finish.
The famous pazha mozhi goes, "Yaanai-kkum adi sarukkum" and Fazil has experienced thus, this time around. After yawning through the slow pace of the film, there might be some truth to the rumours that Director S.A.Chandrasekaran had bad-mouthed Fazil to such an extent, that he orphaned his creation midway through production, having the technicians pick up the pieces and complete the film haphazardly. Fazil's original Malayalam films and the resulting Tamil remakes have had a better grip on the audience over the years than his straight-from-the-drawing-board Tamil productions. Hopefully, he will keep this in mind as he moves on to bigger and better films in the future. Vijay deserves one phrase: Your acting leaves a lot to be desired. Shalini & Ilaiyaraja are the two true salvaging stars of Kannukkul Nilavu. Shalu (Soon-to-be Mrs. Ajeeth :-) smiles, grins, grimaces and laments in good proportion and makes the "Churidhaar Kameez" look like the best outfit in town. Kudos, Girl! Ajeeth, please take good care of her. You have a gem in your hands :-) Ilaiyaraja is mind blowing in his background score (with special mention to the scene when Shalu worriedly returns to the plush, green thOppu the next morning in search of Vijay) as well as in songs like Nilavu Paattu, Roja Poonthottam, and Oru NaaL Oru Kanavu.
What could have been yet another masterpiece by Fazil, turns out to be a very below average fare.
Original Photograph (Kannukkul Nilavu
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