Engeyum Eppodhum Movie Review, Rating (3/5)

Cast: Jai, Sharwanand, Anjali, Anuya and others.
Director: M Saravanan
Music: Sathya
Cinematography: Velraj
Producer: AR Murugadoss
Release Date: September 16, 2011
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review: Go and Watch Engeyum Eppodhum

It is refreshing to see a debutant director bring a tale of urban love and its pain in not just a convincing fashion, but with large dollops of comedy and a twist that jolts you out of your seat.

Fox Star Studios, venturing into Tamil cinema under the aegis of A R Murugadoss, looks like it's landed itself a winner with Engeyum Eppodhum (Anywhere, Anytime), directed by M Saravanan.

As far as stories go, it's remarkably simple: two separate romantic tales, one set in Chennai, the other in Tiruchy, intersect at one point. And from this springs a charming story that owes a lot to clever writing, fresh dialogues, and acting that's engaging most of the time.

Amudha (Ananya) and Gautam (Sharvanand) run into each other when she arrives in Chennai for a job interview, a raw, naive girl completely unaware of city life. This doesn't mean she's ripe for the plucking by unscrupulous characters; indeed, her sense of self-preservation and instinct for survival make you raise your eyebrows in appreciation. Her gradual understanding of Gautam's character paves the way for an attraction that takes her unawares and leaves her reeling.

By contrast, the way Kadhiresan (Jai) and Manimegalai (Anjali) fall in love in Tiruchy is hilarious and refreshing. Their love-track easily becomes the more interesting of the two, as the "lovers" progress through a most intriguing form of courtship, the kind that's very rarely seen in Tamil cinema.

Indeed, the way Manimegalai responds to Kadhir's advances is so unusual that every word she utters comes as a surprise. The best part is that this turns out to be the better story, the heart-warming one that leaves an indelible mark. So much so that you wish the movie had been just about this couple.

While Ananya, Sharvanand and Jai have all done well, it's Anjali who clearly walks away with the honours. She plays an abrasive, aggressive young woman, a nurse who practically leads her lover by the nose, but the extent of her feelings emerges only at the end, and carries you away. After Angadi Theru, here is another noteworthy performance from the actress.

Sathya's music is very engaging, adding to the sweetness of the story. Un Pere Theriyathu has been picturised in quirky fashion. Govindha Govindha is very catchy and fits perfectly into the screenplay, while Sotta Sotta's steady beats grab your attention as well.

Velraj's camera-work and Antony's editing are excellent; but it's the SFX team that deserves kudos.

Praise goes, deservedly, to the director for choosing a simple story that focuses on the smaller joys and sorrows of life, of personal tragedy that barely makes a mark in public consciousness. Director M Saravanan weaves a tale of love, but also has other characters you might miss if you blink, but who still have their parts to play. His biggest strength is that the screenplay rarely loses pace and manages to be realistic most of the time.

On the minus side -- yes, there is one -- there are a few choppy moments, situations which don't quite gel with the narrative, dialogues that sound like platitudes. The Ananya-Sharvanand track, while interesting, doesn't carry quite the same depth of the Jai-Anjali story, which makes things rather uneven. The way it ends, too, is cinematic.

These are minor quibbles. Engeyum Eppodhum is a genuinely heart-warming story, not just about romance, but about the fabric of life itself.

Review 2

We often read and hear about road accidents and will not bother to think too much about it. Yes, it a human nature and until and unless one experiences it in his life, he would not know – what it is all about. Well, AR Murugadoss’ first production venture Engeyum Eppodhum has a similar concept in which director Saravanan has fabricated a love tale.

The film start offs with an accident, where two buses crash at each other on a National Highway in Villipuram. The real story begins with the flashbacks of two couples, Gautham (Sharwanand)-Amudha (Ananya) and Kadhiresan (Jai)-Manimegalai (Anjali). Amudha, who has completed her engineering course, comes to Chennai for an interview and accidentally meets Gautham. As she is not familiar with the city, he helps to reach her destination. They travel together in a city bus and his acts found an admirer in her.

On the other end, there is another love story of Kadhiresan and Manimegalai. While he is a good-hearted man, who works in an automobile company, his ladylove works as a nurse in a hospital and leads the life in reality. Meanwhile, Amudha, who leaves to Tiruchy after the interview, realises that her heart is wandering for someone, whom she met in Chennai a few days ago. Even Gautham is also going through the same phase.

Hence, the lovers-to-be want to meet each other and express their love. While she leaves Tiruchy to meet him, Gautham takes a bus to reach her place. Simultaneously, Kadhiresan and his girlfriend board the same bus to meet his parents, who is in Tiruchy. What happens next should be seen on-screen.

Sharwanand as an urban lad has done his best. His mannerisms and attitude in the film are acceptable and his act during his first encounter with Ananya is entertaining. Anjali is cute and her innocence attracts the audience throughout the film. Jai steals the show with his wonderful performance. Indeed, he gets the maximum marks among four. Cinematography by Velraj is good, music by Sathya is not up to the mark. But his background score is impressive, editor Anthony could have mercilessly chopped some scenes in the first half of the film, as it drags at parts. Finally, the captain of the ship, director Sarvanan, who has done a decent job in his first attempt. Indeed, he has lived up to the audience’s expectations. His screenplay is excellent except a few minor mistakes. Nonetheless, he is a newcomer and those errors could be avoided.

A man’s varied emotions could be seen in Engeyum Eppodhum. The movie is engaging, entertaining and has a message.


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