Thursday, February 09, 2006


Dishyum is the latest example of how a good director can make even a familiar story seem fresh. The film treads the familiar path of a rich girl-poor boy love story. But strong characterization, avoidance of cliches and small tweaks in the screenplay make the movie an entertaining affair.

Recent movies like Aaru and Aadhi were packed with violence. So it is ironic that a film titled Dishyum, a word that signifies a well-delivered blow, serves as a respite from the violence overload. Especially commendable is director Sasi’s decision to keep away from violence(and even the usual fight sequences) inspite of the enormous opportunities offered by the choice of the hero’s profession. That said, the movie has been given an 'A' certificate while bloodsoaked films like Aadhi get by with a 'UA' certificate! Strange are the workings of the censor board officials' minds.

‘Risk’ Bhaskar(Jeeva) is a stuntman in the movies. As the prefix to his name indicates, he is a daredevil with no fear of death and for this reason, is the stuntman of choice for the most dangerous stunts. Into his life comes Cynthia(Sandhya), a student at an arts college. He falls for her and is quick to express his love. But she sees him only as a friend.

The problem with most rich girl-poor boy love stories is that they gloss over the differences(that would actually matter in the real world) between the lovers and base the romance on trivial things like fights and sentiments. So they rarely ring true. But Sasi doesn’t do that here. He makes us, and more importantly the two of them, understand that they are different. There are some lovely scenes that bring out the contrast in many aspects of their lives. The question then becomes whether they can rise above those differences. So the movie is more believable and even manages to be a little suspenseful. Dishyum is no Kaadhal but is a lot more realistic than other movies that portray such a romance.

The romance is held up by the strong characterization of the two involved in it. Jeeva’s innocence and naiveté are not overdone. His honesty and willingness to speak his mind make us smile sometimes and sympathize with him at other times. He is a simple man who knows what he wants. Or atleast thinks he does. Sandhya, on the other hand, is a complicated woman who is not sure what she wants or even how she feels. There are times she shouts at him but there are times she goes against her own family to stand up for him. Like the heroine in Devadhaiyai Kanden, she is practical about her romance. With two such strong characters, Sasi’s job in delivering a lively relationship is half done.

Both of Sasi's earlier movies, Sollaamale and Rojakkoottam, had some plot developments designed to surprise us. While Dishyum has no such big twists, it does pack a number of small surprises that make it quite unpredictable and make us get involved in it. The screenplay proceeds in a way that keeps our interest. And there are a number of sequences that don't exactly end the way we predict them to.

But the surprise is not maintained until the end and the climax is as cliched as it gets in terms of both dialog and location(which is probably the second most popular location, after the railway station, for the climax in Tamil films!). There are atleast two points before the climax where, if the movie had ended, it would have been really surprising and as a result, had a greater impact.

This movie is the follow-up to big, talked-about roles for both Jeeva and Sandhya and both of them deliver. Jeeva slips into the stuntman role well. With close-cropped hair and long sideburns, he looks the part and his expressions, body language and dialog delivery help make him believable for the most part. Sandhya seems like a very natural performer. She has expressive eyes and is especially convincing when angry. She is able to sound angry without shouting. Badhru, a midget, is responsible for the comedy. Though it initially feels a little awkward, the actor and the characterization of his role help us get over it and lead to some good laughs(and a couple of tears). Nenjaankoottil... is a very melodious number. A couple of tracks that play in the background sound catchy too.


At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, I thought that only "idhaya Thirudan" got an A certificate, (though I do think that the Jyothirmayi item number may have something to do with it!).. but Dishyum too?.. Sasi's films steer clear from vulgarity and violence usually.. so this doesn't add up!..

At least, "Aaru" got the A certificate that it truly deserved.. so, there is still a lot of room left for ambiguity!

Censor Board.. do you have any sense left?..

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sandhya is one actress (and the only actress) I like in the current crop of actresses. Rest of them are all infected by expressional antics and are mistaking it for acting.
In one of her interviews, when asked who her fave actress is, she mentions Shobha, and stops with that! hmmm..

At 12:04 AM, Blogger RËÅGÂÑ™ said...

Dishyum is definitely refreshing from the current crop of rubbish masala movies. Though i feel the ending could have been better or perhaps more dramatic rather than the usual stuff. That would have made a real impact on the viewers but nevertheless, it was a good movie.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger pagala'k' said...

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At 7:49 AM, Blogger pagala'k' said...

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At 7:54 AM, Blogger pagala'k' said...

Sollamale was brilliant, to pull of a movie like that with Livingston(an awesome actor)required tremendous confidence in the script.

But Dishyum I thought was a little preachy. Very long dialogues in certain scenes. Malavika breaking pots and pans seemed a little too childish. Come on, pre marital sex is not something that warrants such a reaction. But, yeah you never know, when angry women can stage a dharna with broom sticks and burn effigies of kushboo, breaking pots and pans are well within the realms of a Tamil movie.

Balaji, dont think I am nitpicking here but Sandhya's character wasn't that of a rich girl. But, yes financially better than the hero.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

There was a song with Ragasiya in it... =P. Maybe the A was for that? lol...

I'm glad this movie did good... Jeeva and Sandhya deserve it :D

At 10:51 AM, Blogger mitr_bayarea said...


Good to know that Dishyum is a shade different from the recent films like Aaru and Aadhi. Your reviews are often the basis for us to pick movies to watch.

'A' rating for this kind of movie-a, Aaru, Aadhi should have been pre 'A' just for the violences alone, considering folks like me who can't bear to see blood and killings.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Me too said...

Hope 'Dishyum' makes noise in the BO and encourage Jeeva, Sandhya and the other promising youngsters of today to do more such movies!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sandhya, i was as surprised as u when i saw the 'A' cert. in the Hindu review. there was an item number in this one too(as merino mentions) but then so did 'paramasivan' and that got by with a 'U'...

zero, i've always thot sneha falls in the 'natural acting' category too. but thats about it :)

reagan, true. until the ending, i was really impressed :)

pagalak, sasi's proved himself to be a good director in all 3 movies now. someone to keep an eye out for.

and yes, the rich/poor was relative. rich girl-poor boy was more convenient to write than writing 'girl and boy who are financially a little different' :)

mitr, if the 'A' here was for the item number and a couple of dialogs about premarital sex, it means the censors have different rules when it comes to violence and sex. for me this film deserved a 'U'.

me too, looks like it is doing good @ the BO :)

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Balaji.. not at all!.. Paramasivan didn't get away with anything.. If you noticed, major portions of that song had been cut liberally..

Here's a portion from that article from In the case of Paramasivan it was a ‘U’ certificate after some minor cuts were made in a suggestive item number by Rahasiya and director P.Vasu agreed to trim some close-up shots of this dance number.

At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji, hearing some good stuff about "Amirtham" too including the music by Bhavatharini which I havent seen anywhere so far, on the net. If you catch the flick, let know your thoughts.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quite sensible movie, The director has compared lives and love of 2 risky professions and the way the message conveyed deems the movie worth watching!! better than the craps rolled out on pongal ..Hats off to this team !

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Arvind Srinivasan said...

who is the meejik director ?

At 5:43 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sandya, well i still thot it was too vulgar, esp. when the rest of the film was so clean. maybe the fact that i saw 'dishyum' on the small screen lessened the effect of the item number but that alone still definitely couldnt have led to a 'A' cert.

vijay, definitely will :)

prabhu, yep. way better than movies released so far in '06 :)

arvind, vijay antony :)

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

Nenjankootil is good but not out of the has traces of Uchi Mudhal Paadham Varai from Sukran.h

At 4:23 AM, Blogger Shiv said... too liked the movie..especially the song Nenjaangootil!!


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