Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seedan: Cinderella with desi twist

Appeared in Expresso, the daily supplement of The New Indian Express on February 27, 2011

If the story of Seedan (the disciple), a remake of the Malayalam movie Nandanam, were to be written on the back of a bus ticket, it would go as follows: a poor woman falls in love with a rich man and finally gets married to him.
The script makes a departure from a long-established trend by letting a feminine protagonist taking up most of the screen time.
Mahalakshmi (Ananya), is an orphan employed in a rich household in the temple town of Pazhani. She is the ideal homely woman - devout, demure and virtuous. Her employer, Amrithavalli (veteran Malayalam actress Sheela), is extremely fond of her. However, her work leaves her with no time to visit the shrine of Lord Muruga, and she fervently wishes that she gets a chance to do so. In her dreams, she visualises getting married to a handsome man.
Mano (Krishna Nair), Amrithavalli’s grandson, visits the place, and its love at first sight for them. Mahalakshmi later reveals to Mano that she had visualised him as the prince charming of her dreams. When love is in the air, can obstacles be far behind? Thangam (Suhasini Mani Rathnam), Mano's mother, is taken aback and immediately fixes a match for her son.
Saravanan (Dhanush, in a cameo) shores up proceedings in the second half with his philosophical one-liners, which are eerily similar to those from yesteryear hits of his father-in-law, Superstar Rajnikanth. In a larger-than-life role, Saravanan provides Mahalakshmi the much-needed succour in her hour of adversity.
Although there isn't much to brag about the screenplay, the first half of the movie could have done with a good dose of briskness.
The cast boasts of A-list small screen actors, including Ponvannan and Ilavarasan.
Vivek, as Gummi Swamy, a fake godman, inspires only stifled gags in a worn out and cliched comedy track that is absolutely bereft of humour.