Simran, Laila & Vinu shine, despite a few shoddy moments in

Saran's Paarthaen.. Rasithaen

Stars: Prasanth, Laila, Simran, Raghuvaran, Dhamu, Vaiyapuri, Charlie
Music: Bharadhwaj
Director: Saran
Released: August 11, 2000
Reviewer: Sandya Krishna
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

According to today’s standards, there are only about five prescribed rules to follow in order to make a tamil movie. 1) Create a love story with variations (paartha kaadhal, paesaadha kaadhal, paarkaadha kaadhal.. so forth!) 2) Thaali, bhakthi sentiments and superstitions. 3) Mass Appeal Masala with plenty of adi dhadi, thoppuL, vulgar comedy, and iduppu aatti dances. 4) Family dramas with excessive dialogues and adi dhadi comedy. And finally, 5) Absolutely, none of the above.. a pure, clean, to-the-point film with formula script, some kaadhal, oodal, social themes etc. Director Saran’s third venture, Paarthaen Rasithaen tries to build a bridge between prescribed rules 1, 3 (without vulgarity :-) and 5 and succeeds to some extent. The film lacks polish in a few instances and tries to walk the tight-rope as gently as possible. It fiddles around with similar themes shown in Mouna Raagam, Unakkaaga Ellaam Unakkaaga, Vaali and many of the films that have been released during the new kaadhal season (which unfortunately began in 1996 with Kaadhal Kottai). Paarthaen.. might not be the greatest masala love story to hit the planet recently, but manages to evoke enough interest to sustain itself at least 65% of the time.

Prasanth is a tenant in Simran & her sibling Raghuvaran’s home. Prasanth and Simran are extremely friendly (even toeing the line in the lovey-dovey, touchy-feely department sometimes!) and help each other out as much as possible. During one of his stints playing the mouth organ at the bus stand, Prasanth catches the eye of Laila (who is constantly being baby-sat by Fathima Babu, in a very delightful role!). As things start falling into place with Simran helping the happy couple reach the altar, evil forces in the form of Raghavendra Lawrence and Vinu Chakravarthi (by far, one of his best performances ever) enter the scene to make a mess. To add to this mess, Simran decides to take vengence on Prasanth & Laila as well. What motivates Lawrence, Vinu and Simran to step in at various times and create sticky situations is best left for you to see on screen.

On the sets of Paarthaen RasithaenA giant KUDOS goes to Vinu Chakravarthi, Simran and Laila for taking up difficult roles and handling them with poise and style. Vinu, who curses his wife, Jyothi for bearing a heart condition and utters yaezhavu for every ungodly moment of his life, occupies the screen and your interest for almost the entire first half of the film. Despite serious shades of overacting thrown into some scenes, Simran marvels you even with her most minute expressions in Paarthaen.. Her chemistry with Prasanth in the preliminary scene where she describes how he and Laila will meet on the bus, is also worth mention. Her wicked Orra kaNN paarvai and the slight mission accomplished smile during the climax will keep Kodambakkam and the rest of the world talking, for the rest of this year. The kavarchi bommai has finally matured into a pretty decent actress; thanks to Director Saran and inspiration from Ajeeth’s character, Deva, in Vaali.  If a film can be blessed with one heroine who can speak pages and pages of dialogues convincingly and emote just as well, we have another in Laila, the exact opposite.   She speaks only about ten words during the entire film, but what a restrained performance.  Hard to believe in this day and age!  For a film with such noteworthy performances, there is a very conspicuous drishti. Raghavendra Lawrence (who danced in a gaana paattu in AmarkkaLam) makes his acting debut in this film and does a horrible job of it. His dancing is rather appealing, but his body sheshtais and convulsions are annoying, disruptive and uncouth to say the least. He is the one of the main reasons why Paarthaen.. faulters in its overall presentation. A Karan or a Sriman without the convulsions would have been perfect for this role. How unfortunate for this poor film!

Vaiyapuri and Dhamu have a ball, teasing Charlie throughout the film. Their I am a pick-pocket T-shirt creating a huge fan following is a riot to watch, while their joint rendition of the bus kaadhal kaadhai to Laila is hilarious and touching simultaneously. No wonder comedians do serious bits so well. A very special pat-on-the-back should go to the cinematographer Venkatesh (AmarkkaLam) and music director Bharadhwaj. The former captures so many colors in a crystal clear fashion, while the latter’s music, especially the song sung by Unnikrishnan which airs momentarily whenever Prasanth and Laila meet, is very melodious. Bharadhwaj’s background score is very pleasing to the ears too. Paarthaen.. Sumaaraaga Rasithaen.

Sandya Krishna

Original Photograph (Paarthaen Rasithaen): Thanks to Anandha Vikatan
Photograph scanned & reworked by: Sandya