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Rameswaram Movie Review
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Movie review


Cast : Jeeva, Bhavana, Manivannan

Direction: Selvam

Music: Niru

Production: S N Raja

Themes involving the ethnic strife of Srilankan Tamils are not new to Kollywood. Mani Ratnam in Kanathil Muthamittal had handled this with an expert dexterity. Now in Rameswaram, produced by S N Raja for ITA films, director Selvam has also attempted to bring out a similar flavor.

Rameswaram, a scenic island in Tamil Nadu, with limitless nature’s bounty is located thirty-six miles from Jaffna, which is troubled by the ethnic conflict and identified by the sounds of war. There is only one escape route to circumvent this struggle –Rameswaram – where thousands of Tamil refugees land every day hoping for a better tomorrow.

Manivannan is a Tamil teacher in Jaffna,who is the owner of plenty of fertile lands and also a much respected man in the town. Fourteen members of his family get killed in an attack which follows his exit from his native town along with the only living member of his family- Jeeva to land in Rameswaram. Though Jeeva and his friends leave Jaffna in a bid to

safeguard their lives, they are not too happy in Rameswaram and are eager to leave for their motherland. Lal is a humane wealthy man in Rameswaram who helps the expatriates from Srilanka and his daughter Bhavana falls in love with Jeeva. Villainy comes in the form of bad cop and Bhavana’s cousin, Inspector Bose, who wreaks havoc in the lives of the pair with his vicious conspiracies. Will Jeeva’s attempt to reclaim his love and to venture into his homeland again prove fruitful? Rameswaram has the answer, nothing that’s too unpredictable.

Jeeva’s dialogues pregnant with emotions are sharp and thought provoking. When Bhavana calls him a refugee, he retorts angrily saying that migrated Tamils is a better epithet. Though he does his role well, the native Tamil that he speaks fails him miserably. In fact, none of the cast speaks Tamil the way Srilankan Tamil should be spoken. This certainly is a major let down and is a huge block from getting involved with the film. When the nucleus of the subject is about the refugees, adequate care should have been taken by the director to fill up these gaps. The sequence

where Bhavana falls in love with Jeeva is much clichéd; besides, she seems blissfully distracted with herself. This has put brakes in the tempo of the film. Lal as Bhavana’s dad does a neat job. Sampath, one of the refugees also needs a special mention.

Director Selvam shines in the scene where Jeeva gets beaten at the police station saying that no one can break the endurance level of a Tamil, which speaks volumes about their unshakable fortitude. Few such scenes do move the viewers to tears.

Music by Srilankan Tamil Niru is laudable especially in the ‘Ellaraiyum Ethipoga Poga’ number, which is certain to take all the refugees on a nostalgic trail. Cinematography by R B Gurudev and Vetri is satisfactory. Suresh Urs’s editing deserves a mention.

The efforts of the director in trying to convey the trials and tribulations of Tamils can be lauded. That apart, it is just another attempt to showcase the plight of Srilankan Tamils, which is not strong enough. What could have been a memorable movie watching experience is reduced to a mere time pass, courtesy the run of the mill plot, only with a different backdrop.

Verdict - undistinguished plot camouflaged in serious arena

Onbadhu Roobai Nottu
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Kanaamoochi Enadaa
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