By: Settu Shankar
Thursday, May 03, 2007
There is a new team with S.P.B Charan and Venkat Prabhu that has emerged in Kollywood and it has come out with a wholesome, entertaining film for the viewers. It is none other than Chennai - 600028, a film reflecting the pulse of the youth. There are no popular faces, punch dialogues, or colourful foreign locations in the film. But Venkat has proved that they are not necessary for a good film like Chennai-600028 (pincode of Mandaveli area). The entire movie is centered around the Galli cricket (street cricket) and a tournament final between two rival teams. Apart from cricket there is enough space for love, friendship, sentiments and decent comedy in the script.
Raja Annamalaipuram Sharks and Royapuram Rockers are the two teams who always fight for supremacy in the game in their area. The field enmity continues in their real life too. Raghu (Jai, son of Music Director Deva) is the star bowler in the Rockers team and he later shifts his house to the stronghold of the Sharks R.A.Puram. As the Shark members tease Raghu in the initial stage, he finds it is very difficult to adjust in the area. But the love between Selvi (Vijayalakshmi, daughter of Agathiyan) and Karthik, the captain of Shark, brings him closer to the Shark team. Finally, Raghu decides to play for Sharks and in the process incurs the wrath of the Rockers.
In the mean time, Radio Mirchi announces Mirchi Cup tournament for Galley cricket teams in which Rockers and sharks meet in the semifinal. The climax is interesting and speedier than a real international one day match. The love innings of Arvind, the star batsman in Shark, with Christine Zedak is a separate story and the viewers get embarassed with their steamy bed scenes in an ECR farm house.
The plus point of the movie is the star cast. Though it is a challenge to a viewer to remember all the members of the teams, one should really appreciate the director in selecting actors with a boy- next-door image for all the roles, including the lead ones.
Mirchi Siva as Karthick is impressive. A radio jockey-turned-actor Shiva has performed well in the lead role. Proficient in the game of cricket, Shiva had enough opportunity to perform in the movie and the young lad has utilised it well. Vijayalakshmi, a girl with a typical middle class look plays Shiva's lady love and has performed her role flawlessly.
Then there is Jai. He looks like Vijay in certain scenes, and has done a neat job. This lad has enough stuff to perform as an individual hero. It is Premji, the younger son of Ganghai Amaran and younger brother of the director, who steals the show whenever he appears on screen. He has handled the comedy role with ease and is able to regale the audiences with laughter throughout the film. Nitin Sathya and Illavarasu have done their part well. Other newcomers have also given a delectable performance.
The semifinal match for the Mirchi Cup between Rockers and Sharks satisfies the die hard fans of cricket who were disappointed with India's dismal performance in the recent World Cup!
Yuvan Shankar Raja is the real hero of the movie who has dished out eight zappy, youthful numbers with 'Yaro...' being the pick of the lot. Shakthi Saravanan's camera work has added to the mood and feel of the film.
The only minus point of the movie is that its theme is completely based on the youth of Chennai who speak in their typical slang. As the city is already identified as a fairly cosmopolitan one, it will be hard to lure audiences from the rural centers who anyway feel annoyed with the cultural diversity of Chennai.
Ghanghai Amaran might be hailing from a hamlet of Madurai, but his son Venkat Prabu was born and brought up in the Chennai metro. One should pat on his back for filming the script according to his real experiences as an urbanite rather than vicariously conceive a story on village life, like Manirathnam or Suhasini did in Roja and Indira respectively!
Banner: Capital cinema
Producer: S.P.B Charan
Cast: Shiva, Jai, Premji Amaran, Nitin Sathya, Ajay Raj, Vijay, Karthik, Ranjith, Arun Vijayalakshmi and Christina
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raaja
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues and Direction: Venkat Prabhu