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November 8, 2013

Tamil Movie: Engeyum Eppothum (2011)

Filed under: Tamil Movies — Tags: , , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 11:43 pm

imageThis movie is modeled on Crash, the English movie about an accident. The focal point of the movie is a crash involving two buses where a lot of people are seriously hurt and some die. The movie starts with that scene – actually well made for a Tamil movie – and then tracks back to the life of the people involved in the accident.

In addition to a cute young boy and girl who seem to fall for each other during the travel, this movie tracks the life of two other couples mainly. Yes, there are sidebar stories – say, about a father from Dubai coming back after many years to meet his wife who stayed back in India for all this time and who meets his presumably five or six year old daughter for the first time since he has not been granted vacation to go home by his controlling employer in the Gulf. He talks to his daughter on his smartphone and tries to convince the daughter that this time he is really coming home. He even asks his neighbour to talk on the phone to prove the veracity of his declarations to his disbelieving daughter, since he has told her he is coming home many times, but has not. Fate – and Tamil Movie Formula – intervenes and crash happens before he reaches his destination.

But the story is about two main couples in fact. And both stories are well told and are interesting. First, there is a girl called Amudha (played by Ananya) who remembers her first visit to the Megapolis Chennai from hometown, the small town of Trichy. Her sister is unable to come to the bus stop and she is confused by all the directions given to go to the interview spot. She needs help but is very suspicious of crooks in big towns who are waiting to steal everything from newbies – she has heard so much about the big bad Chennai people! When forced to get help, she approaches a young man (played by Shravanand) whose name too she learns much later. He takes her part way and tries to go away but she pleads with him to stay and take her to the office. But she has given a clear description of him on the phone (‘looks somewhat shady’ is part of her description) to her sister privately so that, if something should happen to her, her sister “will know” who is responsible. He is very annoyed at having to skip work due to her. When she begins to trust him enough to leave her baggage with him in the lobby to go up to the interview, she finds that he has disappeared when she comes back – so has the luggage. She is devastated to have fallen for a trickster when he comes back after having a coffee in the nearest coffee shop. He drops her back to her place and having declined the offered job (due to the fact that it was offered in Bangalore, not Chennai) she returns home. But she has fallen for the young man, and decides to come over to Chennai to look for him and cannot, of course, locate him. She is travelling back in one of the buses.

The whole episode of her serial suspicions, yet fear that he may disappear leaving her with no way to go to the interview, and her surprise and disapproval of the modern decadent ways of big town people (girls especially) is fun.

The second story is even more interesting and unusual for Tamil cinema. It involves Kathiresan (played by Jai) who is a skilled worker in what appears to be a foundry. He falls in love (Tamil movie style, first time look) with a girl in the opposite house and she appears not even to notice him. So imagine his surprise when he comes home one day to find her in his house and also to find that she has snooped enough to know his salary, name, parents’ name etc. She asks him why he is staring at her everyday “You think you are in love?”. This bold, unorthodox woman is Manimegalai (played with aplomb by Anjali)

She takes over his life in a total way, asking him to ‘bring money and meet her in a clothes shop’, to meet her in a fancy coffee shop and asking him to pay, to go and meet one Mr Ramasamy, and asks him to say that she sent him. He turns out to be not only a cop but also her father! He is so shy that when she asks for a hug, he suggests that they should get married first! She is an independent woman, who asks him to donate blood and also sign up for organ donation on the spot.

She sends him to an admirer who was stalking her in the past to show him off. Interesting scenes, new to Tamil cinema.

After the crash, it traces the fate of these and other couples and, though in some places it is formulaic, there is enough new stuff here to keep your interest and keep you entertained.

I think Anjali did a super job in terms of portrayal of a different character and the others are adequate. The storyline of both couples is interesting enough, and varied enough from the normal movie formulae to keep your interest.

One song in particular ‘Govinda” is very nice and “Un Pere Theriyadhu” is also good.

A bettern than average film – not a great one like Aadukalam for instance but still definitely entertaining.

I think a 7/10 is in order.

—  Krishna

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