Rating: 4 stars

Slum boy meets rich girl. Money is no barrier for friendship. But love?

Prabhu Deva is Jani,short for Janaki Raman, small time kuppathu raja who has a history of vandalism in the posh neighborhood nearby. Keerthi Reddy is Sandhya who has just returned from (you guessed right) USA. Prabhu Deva and his gang happen to gatecrash into her house after her homecoming party, after all the guests have departed and dappan kuthu dhool kalappufy there. Sandhya (Keerthi) secretly watches the fun they all are having and offers to be friends with Jani. "Dey machan party ku nambalellam pudichirukku da." She even visits his kottai in the slum where mom Sujatha mothers her no end. Sujatha believes that the kilijoshyan's prediction has come true and that Sandhya is going to be her kodeeswari marumagal. It's a jolly time for her and her 'Party' until one fine day, her father pops the usual question about marriage. Her father is open minded about accepting his daughter's choice.But Sandhya clarifies that her relationship with Jani is only of friendship and she'll get Jani to choose the groom for her. The groom that shows up is Anand (Thiruda Thiruda fame) and all's set for hero to sing a ballad of unrequited love over a piano.

Keerthi Reddy and Prabhudeva in "Ninaivirukkum Varai"Enter a twist at this point in the form of Ranjith (this guy seems to be popular with the Madras crowds) - a poruki in the nearby slum who has picked up fights with Jani in the past. Ranjith is a womanizer who also procures girls for politicians and moneyed folk (Anand being one of them). He is diagnosed to suffer from a terminal disease which implicates Anand too. Prabhu Deva is shocked to hear this but doesn't know how to break the news to Sandhya. His attempts to block the marriage proceedings misfire on him and his name gets tarnished. All's well that ends well, but hey there has to be a twist. And if you've seen Kaadhal Desam or Jolly or any of the recent friendship based movies, you know what I'm talking about.

Prabhu Deva gets a wonderful script and character that he's comfortable in. Vivek gets some of the best scenes in the movie as he tries to woo Sandhya. A repeat act of his Naam Iruvar.. act. Watch the movie in a theater. The dialogues would fall flat on video.

Sudhir Acharya

Original Photograph (Ninaivirukkum Varai): Thanks to Dhina Malar
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya