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Times of India
Classmates Arjun and Divya fall in love out of defiance to her father's handling of their friendship. With fathers who are polar opposites, will this romance end in smiles or tears?
Here's yet another coming-of-age tale that talks about teenage love and the need for parents to understand their adolescent children and guide them through these impressionable years. The first few minutes of
instantly bring to mind the recent
Aadhalal Kaadhal Seiveer
with scenes of youngsters lying to their parents, goggling at girls and partying hard. But these scenes and the performances lack the deftness of the earlier film and for a moment you cringe at the crude filmmaking.
But Durai finds his feet as he gets to the actual story. Arjun's interest in Divya, his classmate and friend, is just like that of any other 16-year-old boy towards his opposite sex. But when the girl's volatile father, in a fit of anger, thrashes the lad in his classroom for sharing a kulfi with his daughter, the youngsters fall in love for real as an act of defiance. Naturally, when her father comes to know of this development, he gets livid but the lovers are determined to fight till the last.
Intriguingly, for a romantic film, it is the romantic portions that are a downer. Once Arjun and Divya have fallen in love and expressed their feelings, Durai depicts their romance in very typical ways — stealthy conversations over the phone, sly meet-ups and unimaginatively picturised songs. Both Aadhav and Gayathrie are a little raw and while they are believable as school-going teens, they falter when it comes to the emotional scenes that call upon them to react.
What gives this film a touch of the unusual is the character of Arjun's father. He is a man who hasn't really made it in life. He is a railway worker, living in a rented house, travelling in a cycle and finding simple joys in his wife and son. He realizes that his son his experiencing the very same situations he underwent as a teenage — from smoking to romance. He doesn't want to repeat the mistakes of his own father and at the same time, doesn't wish his son to commit the same mistakes he did as a teenager. He doesn't curse his son for smoking and even buys him a mobile phone when he learns he has fallen in love. And, yet, for all this, he finds it a little uncomfortable to talk to his son and their conversations are always brief and to the point. Kishore brings to this role an everyman quality that ensures that the role doesn't come across as too idealistic.