'Mundhinam Partheney': Go for it!
The attempt of debutant director Magizh Thirumaeni, a Gautam Vasudev Menon protégé, to narrate a love story between two typical upper middle-class youths in an almost realistic manner is commendable. The story and the treatment come as fresh air in the cliché ridden Tamil film industry.
Sanjay (Arvind), a software professional, starts narrating his nostalgic moments when he was in love. His expression is worth watching and even other characters force their way into our heart and a gripping first half is over even before you blink your eyes.
Sanjay finds himself madly in love with dance teacher Aarthi (Ektaa). Aarthi is shown as a brazenly arrogant woman because of her rich background. So, Sanjay is apprehensive expressing his love to her, fearing a negative reply.
Slowly he reveals his feelings to her. Aarthi, who has many unfulfilled dreams like pursuing dancing career in London and some untold family commitments, finally reciprocates. When things start getting smooth, Sanjay learns something shocking about Aarthi's personal life.
Shocked by the revelation, Sanjay starts drifting away from her. He even insults her by telling her secret to others. His behaviour angers Aarthi. She is not the kind of person who would go to someone to plead innocence. She moves away from Sanjay who starts dating his colleague.
Later, when Sanjay learns the 'actual' truth behind the secret of Aarthi's life, it's too late for him to go back to her. Then starts Sanjay's nostalgic journey. He moves like a wanderer, unsure of his destination.
The comic portions involving Thirumaeni is depicted in a realistic manner. Lifestyle of the upper middle class youths has also been shown without any artificial or filmy air.
The romance between Sanjay and Aarthi has been shown in a very, very interesting manner indeed. Their meetings, conversations and their dance in a song have been deftly handled. The song sequences, like in Menon's films, have been shot with some aesthetic sense. It's cinematography takes the film to a different level.
Arvind doesn't have a challenging role but manages to impress with his performance. Ektaa gets an interesting role. Her facial expressions and the way she has been choreographed by the director in song sequences tell many things. Lisna, who appears post interval, too has an interesting role.
The director has given a very good account of himself by making a film with newcomers and with a purpose. The screenplay, which falters at times, seems to be the only thing that might go against the makers. Taman's music is reasonably good with some hummable numbers.
The film is surely worth a visit to the nearest theatre!