Films with new or up and coming artistes are generally not talked about much. “Malarinum Melliya“, set in the rural background, is one such film, but deserves critical acclaim.
Pannayar Sivachakravarthi adores his village as much as his family and he are held in high esteem in society. His son, Vignesh, falls in love with Varshini, daughter of the local temple ‘gurukkal’ (priest). This is a bitter pill to swallow for the Pannayar whose self- pride and status comes in the way of his agreeing to the marriage of his son with the gurukkal’s daughter. Whether the two lovers ever marry?
Romance is central to the theme. Director Selvaraj portrays love as softer than a flower; it never wilts not even for the ageing lovers.
The film opens with a flashback showing Vignesh as a lovelorn old man pining for his heartthrob, Varshini. This raises great expectations among the audience. But subsequent sequences follow on the predictable lines of a conventional romantic flick. What makes the difference is the climax which is a surprise and a shock.
Pannayar Sivachakravarathi and his family look natural as the real faces of the village. With a borrowed voice, Vignesh keeps running through farms and plantain gardens all the time looking for Varshini. And he becomes old yearning for her.
Muthukumar as the temple gurukkal, Periyardasan as a cartman, Selvaraj as a teacher, and the comedy team Nellai Siva and Muthukaalai jel with the main characters and provide good support.
The scenes that are heart-rending are that aged Varshini who has been kept away after being separated from Vignesh, enters the village for once to see his aged lover who is battling for life and their exchange of glances pining with love.
For reasons best known to him, the director has replaced Vignesh and Varshini with two others as the lovers grow old. The change of actors in the midway seems unnecessary. He should have let young Vignesh and Varshini themselves play the aged lovers as well.
Cinematographer K.V. Mani just marks his attendance. Soundaryan’s music is melodious
Deficiencies notwithstanding, the film strikes a chord.