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{mosimage}Can cinematographers make good directors? After working with the top directors so closely and learning the craft, I think they get the itch to direct a movie someday. Going by the track record of cinematographers turned directors who had succesfully ventured into other domains, the answer seems to be YES. PC Sriram made slick action thriller "Kuruthipunal" and sensitive "Vaanam vasappadum". KV Anand continued with a gripping thriller "Kanaa Kandein" while Jeeva made an abstract "12B' and followed it up with "Ullam Ketkume..". Just now I watched "Ullam Ketkume..." and was cleanly bowled over by its narrative structure, not only stylish visuals but equally emotional vein too.

{tab=Page 1}A tidbit about sleeper hit "Ullam Ketkume.." The movie was launched as "PEPSI" (An acronym of lead characters Pooja, Emaan, Priya, Shaam, Irene) about two years ago, with then sensations "Shaam" and "Laila" along with newcomers "Arya", "Asin" and "Pooja". The movie snoozed in cans for more than two years, by the time it saw lights new comers Arya, Asin became stars while Shaam & Laila faded into pavilion. Nobody even dreamt that "Ullam ketkume..." will become a hit.


It is about 5 friends Pooja (Laila), Eman (Arya), Priya (Asin), Shaam (Shaam) & Irene (Pooja) who are meeting in the Emaan's wedding after a long time and mastigate their memories of college. It is all about the fond memoirs of friendship, romance and bitter days of adoloscent, disappointments, heart breaks etc. I clearly identified with every character and thats why I am touched by the incidents that unfolded on the screen. It is now 12:30 at night while I am writing this review. Then you decide for yourself how much it affected me.

Jeeva proves that more than a stylish cinematographer, he is also a good story teller. He manages to hold the attention since the opening shot Pooja leaving for her friend's wedding. Among all the stories I was touched by Laila's part, because I could identify the pains of being not loved by the one we love. We always search for the things not in our sight, losing the valuable thing next to us. Pooja loves Shaam and does everything he just wishes as her command. But Shaam couldn't understand her but falls in love with Priya (Asin). Even though he was forewarned that Priya is entirely opposite to what Shaam is, he simply reasons that opposite poles attracts.

Priya (Asin) is from a middle class Brahmin family, who believes in traditional values. She rightly says that love might be the matter of two individuals, when it comes to marriage it becomes an affair between two families. So she begs off Shaams proposal and settles for the arranged marriage with a doctor.

{mosimage}The love story of Emaan & Irene is mature & having a depth. Emaan is an aspiring cricketere whose first priority happens to be the love of Irene. She realises this and decides to move away from him leaving a way to his career. Irene's character is something I loved and could understand a most at this juncture of my life. I had reacted the very similiar way Irene did. SHe loves him but for sake of his good she moves away. In the Emaan's marriage Pooja asks whether she is upset, for which Irene replies that if she had accepted his proposal doubt is that whether he could have become a star sportsman. So she has no regrets.

At the end Pooja gathers guts to propose Shaam and suceeds, with a routine climax in the airport.

You cannot classify this movie as single person's movie. Everybody carries the movie in their shoulders. There was a tremendous innocence in the new comers that breathed a fresh lease of life into the characters. I think this is the reason of this movies success. At the end it is Laila, Arya and Pooja who scores over others.

{tab=Page 2}{mosimage}First things first....The movie carries a whiff of freshness and loads of youthfullness. Kudos to Jeeva for depending on a strong script rather than superstars and icing it with stlick shot visuals and a racy narration. The movie looks mint fresh and didn't show that two years of being locked in cans. Except when Asin looks very young and different from what she is now and same for Pooja. Talking about these girls Asin is very much a middle class Brahmin girl with large bindhi & churidars while Pooja is every inch an Anglo-Indian girl. Laila's character is a rip-off from Kajol's character in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai..." a ugly-duckling heroine turning into femme fatale in the second half and even a couple of scenes straightly lifted from the same movie.

{mosimage}This was the debut movie of Asin, Pooja & Arya, but now they are rising stars of Tamil cinema with Asin already made it as numero uno. Arya showed tremendous promise and steals the show under everybody's nose. Asin was gorgeous and divine (Notice in that white dress & dance practise) and Jeeva as his routine of presenting the girls beautifully, showed her like a dream.

The movie is beautifully shot with slick visuals. Jeeva being a protegee of PC Sriram has light up every shot aesthatically. The hardwork and how much he had slogged is beautifully translated on screen. It is not the routine campus you had seen on movies for "n"th time. There are many sequences that command your attention and make you watch in awe especially when Asin practices her dance.

Dialogues form the soul of this movie. Sujatha does it with style. The dialogues are not only simple but powerful also. The scene where Shaam gives his validectory speech and the reaction's of his friends made me cry. I don't make any bones about crying at the movies. Somewhere I related it with the speech I gave in my engg college last day. How each characters move ahead in their life making their career rolling is very natural.

{mosimage}Music by Harris Jayraj was situational. It was wonderful on screen but failed to make an impact as a stand alone album. The adroit manner he uses Hindi lyrics and English lines was simply amazing. No wonder he is being hailed as next AR Rahman and all top directors making a beeline for him.

At the end I cried, I was moved and couldn't sleep. So I sat to write this review and I am sure whomever had seen this movie would have experienced what I had. A nice movie that disturbs you in the lines of "Azhagi", "Autograph" rekindling your past memories. I wish everyone to give a try this movie. {/tabs}