Monday, July 25, 2005


[Pic Courtesy BehindWoods]

Screenplay usually comes to the fore in masala movies where thin, predictable storylines have to be jazzed up with clever screenplays. Priyasakhi is a marital drama that requires an interesting screenplay to make its tired, cliched story of a clash between a middle-class, family-bound man and his rich, high-spirited wife appealing to the viewer. Director Adhiyaman manages to create such a screenplay but only upto a certain point. The movie then inexplicably takes a nosedive into comedy, chaos and chauvinism.

Santhanakrishnan(Madhavan), Sakhi for short, works as a manager at Hyundai. Its love at firstsight when, on a trip to Dubai, he meets model Priya(Sadha). Love blinds both to the differences in their wealth, social status, standard of living, aspirations, etc. and they get married.But the differences make their way to the surface after marriage when Sadha is unable to adjust to his family-centric lifestyle.

The movie starts promisingly with a very nicely picturized Anbu Alaipaayuthey..., that introduces us to Madhavan's loving family. The action moves to Dubai by the song's end where its love at first sight for Madhavan when he sees Sadha. But once we get beyond Madhavan's love at first sight, his wooing of Sadha is quite entertaining. His attention to her friend in order to gain her love is a rather fresh technique and Sadha's jealousy, which ofcourse gradually turns to love, is quite funny.

The movie becomes predictable once Sadha moves into Madhavan's house. While it is pretty clear Sadha is going to have problems fitting in, even the situations that lead to problems are very familiar. At the same time, the quarrels and cuddles between Madhavan and Sadha make them a very believable newly-married couple. The small fights with quick 'make-ups' gradually becoming bigger fights that take longer to resolve, are nicely portrayed.

The decision of the judge when Madhavan and Sadha go to court is the exact point at which the movie begins to unravel. The decision, which by itself is quite unbelievable, is then played for laughs with 'Kovai' Sarala joining the proceedings. And the laughs aren't subtle either. They are loud and unfunny and make the section quite unbearable. As the movie nears its climax, it also turns quite chauvinistic with Sadha becoming repentant and Madhavan bent on torturing her, all for the reason of 'teaching her a lesson'.

Madhavan's long hair makes his face look kinda fat but if the oohs and aahs from the girls sitting behind me in the theater were any indication, he can still break a few hearts. Sadha is quite saadha in looks but emotes well here. Her stares and silent looks at Madhavan are effective and she is emotional without overacting during the fights. Ishwarya, with her gravelly voice, gets several laughs with her expressions and comments. Her expression when Madhavan's grandma congratulates her on her 'promotion' is priceless. Pratap Pothan plays her docile husband and the final scene between them has been played out a zillion times since Rajapaarvai. Ramesh Khanna gets a few laughs as Maddy's brother.

Adhiyaman has been faithful to the melodious nature of the songs in their picturization. Which turns out to be good for Madhavan considering his dancing skills!

PS: After Madhavan and Sadha, I think the most screen time in Priyasakhi was alloted to Sadha's waist and navel! We get quite a few closeups and viewers who didn't get enough of her midriff in Anniyan can get their eyeful here. Which led me to describe Sadha in the following kavidhai...

Anniyanil sothappal
Priyasakhiyil so-much-thoppul :-)


At 2:28 AM, Blogger Sriram said...

nice review Balaji!

At 2:32 AM, Blogger Sriram said...

iswarya - is it the same one who acted in panchatantram...i cant stand her voice!

At 2:58 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

padam torture, adu sollelaia,

neengal feb 14 pakkaporangala?

wait for either DASS(29 july)
adu oru kana kalam (aug 12)
thotti jaya(aug 12)
ponnin selvan(aug 12)

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Munimma said...

Which turns out to be good for Madhavan considering his dancing skills!

at least he is much better than the centenarian-who-shall-not-be-named ;-P

I have seen a live show of his. He is not a bad dancer.

At 8:45 AM, Blogger pk said...

LOL @ UR last lines. Good review.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

poem super =)

by the way, wasnt she hell bent on not wanting to show glamor, ippo enna aLLi aLLi kudukuraa???

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"by the way, wasnt she hell bent on not wanting to show glamor, ippo enna aLLi aLLi kudukuraa???"

Dear fans,
There's a very thin line between glamor and vulgarity...I will never cross it...Priyasakhi will always be close to my navel...sorry, heart...after Anniyan, this is a very *different* character for me...hope u will also appreciate me in my next release, remake of the telugu smash hit, "Sappa Figaru Peddha Vayiru..."

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So nenga power cut illama padam pathutengala..grrrrr..

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did it release in calif ? when ?

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sriram, thanx! and yeah, its the same ishwarya(lakshmi's daughter). she has quite a baritone but its been used to good comic effect here :)

vatsan, adhu purinjirukum nenaikiren from review :) unga listla i'm looking fwd to only 'ponniyin selvan' and only cos of the director. not much hope for others :(

munimma, yet to c madhavan dance properly even once. all he does is jump around. and its irritating to c that especially for a good dance song eg. RUN. and the centenarian who shall not be named is way better. he was like maddy initially but atleast made an effort and improved. thats all i'm asking of maddy. take a few tips from surya on how to grow as an actor :)

At 1:33 PM, Blogger Potpourri said...

But why is Madhavan always cast in movies where the husband has problems with wife - Alaipayuthey, Dil Vil Pyar Vyar and now Priyasakhi - innum yosicha nyabgam varumo ennavo!
I agree that hez done other movies, but 3 movies of similar genre is stereotypical..

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Munimma said...

sollikko sollikko :-) mookillaa rajyathil murimookan rajangra kathai thaan inge ;-)

Ishwarya, baritone not, gravelly yes :-D

Agree that Surya has climbed up rapidly. Maddy needs to go some distance. BTW, he is very unimpressive in real life. Dark, and ordinary. Saw him and Shankar M with Sivamani in Toronto. We all landed at the airport at the same time :-) Now, Shankar M is a different matter altogether. Great stage presence. A bit on the heavier side (esp next to Maddy) but he can keep the audience thrilled.

I remember having a similar argument about the other one's dancing skills eons back, and with the same person ;-P

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BTW, he is very unimpressive in real life."

-- Munimma, i know a couple of girls who will kill you for saying that! of course, i am *J* whenever they drool over him, so reading this is fun! thittungo...thittungo...surrogate satisfaction!

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kals, thanx!

merino, i remember all the hullabaloo about some kannada movie where she was very glamorous being dubbed and she trying to block it so her image wouldn't be damaged before 'anniyan'!! i guess the guy saw 'anniyan' and 'priyasakhi' and decided not to dub it after all!!

ram, LOL. last i heard, namitha was trying for the heroine role in SFPV :)

anon, yes. no powercuts he he he :) but thinking back, court scenela neenga thirumba vandhadhu all for good :)

anon2, was released last weekend in IMC6 in san jose.

potpourri, interesting observation. if u think about it, even his married life in 'aaydha ezhuthu' wasnt exactly a bed of roses. i guess he's one of the few heroes without an image and so is willing to act in such family dramas. can't really imagine vijay or surya doing these roles :)

At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, you forgot 'Parthaale Paravasam'..One more addition to Maddy's 'Marital Discord' list! :-)

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu said...

Balaji - Thank you. I liked to songs. Even the previews were a little too sexy for my kids. They were the closeups..

With so much of skin / navel...Priyasakhi might make some money in the Box office.!! don't you think so?

At 5:31 PM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

Dass i am also not to eagerto watch, annal adu oru kana kalam vandubalu mahendra film, he is trying to prove that he can make a film to suit todays climate and stuff. movie ll be good,

At 6:21 PM, Blogger IBH said...

very good review...but the last line oru sun tv punch kuduthengalae...adhu adhu! :)

I guess every heroine starts out like that and ends up saying i wouldnt do glamourous roles..

who remembers that Devayani who worked in Thottachinungi?:)

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Me too said...

Not good, huh? The movie theme seemed kind-of interesting. Anyway, thanks Balaji. One less DVD to rent!

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Okay now i wanna know who you guys are talking... the one who couldnt dance before but doing good now.. Its surya aint it..?

I thought he sucked at the beginning.

Righta thappa?

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Robbie said...

lol! thoppul:P this also rhymes doesnt it? mm sadha sarva kaalamum en endha ponna heroinea podaraanga? thaangala! Maddy oda maadila mudi romba adigama erukku pola erukku... hmm!

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ishwarya baritone?! what was i thinking... meant to say raspy or nasal or something along those lines!

munimma, eons back the argument would've atleast been with him and kamal. maddy isnt even in the same league. compare panradhe thappu!!

vijays, true! looks like we've uncovered a trend here :)

narayanan, konjam sadha skin showkkaga if movie makes money, tamil cinemava aandavan thaan kapathanum! but u're right... even previews seemed to be rated R!

vatsan, me hopeful of AAKK too. hope balu mahendra delivers. stills paatha sex konjam thookkala irukum pola theriudhu. hope he doesnt think thats what sells today!

ibh, thanx! adhu punch illa, paunch :-) devayani was raghuvaran's sis right?

me too, u're welcome :)

merino, we were talking about thalaivar :)

At 9:26 PM, Blogger NS said...

i am rotfling @ ur kavidhai!!! :D

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

oh yeah. thanks =P

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, nice review.. I too have put up mine.. i can see lots of similarities.. I liked ur PS comment on Sadha.. hahahaha..

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Aatma said...

Nice review Balaji, and a cool kavidhai ;)

At 9:26 AM, Blogger bl@her said...

Pathetic. I am surpirsed an actor of the order of Madhavan, what with his "social awareness and responsibility", would act in a movie like this. A guy, who is so inclined towards his family's happiness, would marry a girl without even thinking whether she would suit his family or not. And then he would torment her to change her ways. Ridiculous. I think the Ragumaan-Sukanya starrer (I think Thambi Pondatti or something) was a much better and believable movie.

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