These days it is very rare to find movies that focus fully on the story at hand, and not meander about with unnecessary and often stupid comedy elements that are targeted for the so-called front-benchers. Sushma's first directorial venture in Tamil, Uyirodu Uyiraaga, is refreshingly different in this respect. It is a clean movie with no masala stuff (other than the songs) and no comedy-track ... it just makes one wonder what it might have been if only the director had NOT got herself stuck with such a weak story-line.
The story and some of the treatment seems to have been "inspired" by Mani Ratnam's Idhayaththaith Thirudaadhe. Ajit is a terminally-ill cancer patient and Richa is a care-free young girl who loves to fool others with practical jokes. In order to win one of her bets with her friends, Richa ends up fooling Ajit into thinking that she has brain tumour - but Richa is not aware that Ajit has the same illness too. Not surprisingly, Ajit and Richa fall in love with each other. After some interesting melodramatic moments between Richa, Ajit's parents (Srividya and Sarathbabu), and Richa's parents (Ambika and Mohan - a Telugu actor), Ajit gets married to Richa with no one telling Ajit that Richa is actually a healthy woman. Now the story takes a different twist with Srividya (Ajit's mother) desiring the couple to have a child and Ajit not wanting to have a baby thinking it might harm Richa's flailing health. How/ Whether the lies get resolved and the baby issue is settled forms the rest of the story.
The initial portion of the movie, where Ajit and Richa fall in love and eventually get married, moves at a reasonable pace and is handled well overall, although one does wish that the director had put a little more focus into their love. The events surrounding both the parents' reaction to the marriage is one of the high points in the movie, with everyone performing very well in the ensuing melodrama. Srividya's character does suffer a little, what with her over-emphasis on getting a "vaarisu" for her family at any cost. It is only after the marriage that the hollowness of the story comes to the fore. It was understandable that Richa hides her pregnancy from Ajit initially, but where was the need to keep telling the lie into the 5th, 6th month of the pregnancy and later. The only purpose it served was to elongate the movie and give the proceedings a "rubbery" quality. The question also arises, when Ajit has expressly stated that he does not want a baby, why he did not take any precaution, that too, he is a doctor's son? And, where was the need for Richa to rush out in the end when Ajit discovers the truth ... no reason other than to give the weak climax some artificial punch. However, all is well that ends well, and I did feel fine when the movie ended. So, what starts out as a promising movie peters into a more mundane level after the interval. Quite a disappointment considering the high hopes I had for this movie midway through the proceedings. All the actors/actresses have done a good/adequate job, but Richa easily takes the cake for acting with her highly expressive face. Ajit did not have as many opportunities to showcase his talent, but was quite adequate in his role. Vidyasagar's music is a high-point in this movie. The I Love You song is simply wonderful and is already topping all the countdown charts. Other good numbers include Nothing and Poovukkellaam. This movie is definitely better than most of the junk being churned out these days and is worth watching once.
Original Photograph (Uyirodu Uyiraaga):