Shyamala (Nanditha Das) is a Tamil expatriate living in Sri
Lanka. She gets married to a militant (Chakri). A day after
the marriage, the militant goes back and joins his mission
of LTTE. Later on Shyalama is evacuated from Sri Lanka and
is sent back to India. She is taken care by a refugee camp
at Rameswaram where she gives birth to a girl. Shyamala leaves
the baby behind and goes back to Sri Lanka to fight for Indians
in Sri Lanka.
(Madhavan) is a famous writer. He writes a story based on
the kid. Indira (Simran) is his neighbor. She suggests him
that he should adapt the girl rather than money by writing
a story on her. When Srinivas attempts to adapt the girl,
the Red Cross people say that a bachelor is unqualified to
do so. Srinivas proposes to Indira and gets married and the
couple adapts the baby girl and names her Amrutha (Baby Keerthana).
Later on, India and Srinivas gives birth to two sons.
Amrutha enters 9, Srinivas reveals the dark secret to Amrutha
that she is born to a refugee from Sri Lanka. Amrutha wants
to meet her real mother. Amrutha runs away from home in search
of her mother. Srinivas and Indira bring her back. The trio
(Indira, Srinivas and Amrutha) leaves for Sri Lanka in search
of Shyamala. The entire second half is dealt with how Amrutha
searches and meets her real mother and what decision she would
take. That is, to stay with Indira and Srinivas or to prefer
Keerthana: Baby Keertha is the daughter of Seetha (Telugu
heroine) and Parthiban (Tamil Hero). She is a born actress
and the lifeline of this film. She is extremely natural in
all the scenes. She has bright future ahead on the silver
Madhavan acted sans makeup in Amrutha. He stole the show with
balanced acting and controlled performance.
Simran is very homely in this film. Her made-up curly hair
for this film suited the housewife role. Her portrayal of
jealousy when Amrutha wants to meet her real mother is excellent.
All her emotions are subtle and effective.
Das: Her role in the film is a 20 minutes screen presence.
But she leaves her mark with excellent performance as the
innocent wife and emotionally struggling mother who has to
chose between her own daughter and the cause of Indians in
Raj: Prakash Raj played the role of Dr. Vikrama Singhe,
who helps Madhavan in finding Nanditha Das. He suited the
Story - Screenplay - Direction: This film deals with an
emotional story. Screenplay of the film is good, but not tight.
Taking of the shots is excellent. Direction is extraordinary
when is come to the individual scenes. There are three scenes
in which he leaves his mark strongly on us. One of that is
the flashback narration to Amrutha after which the entire
flashback is shown like Simran is reading it from a book.
Second scene is the one in which the daughter and mother meets
in the climax. Third one is Amrutha talking to a stranger
in Sri Lanka who later on turn out to be a suicide bomber
who blasts himself by jumping on to an army convoy. But Mani
Ratnam should have considered inserting commercial elements
to make it a movie more commercially viable.
Music: AR Rehman's music is apt for the film and suited
the mood of movie. 'E Devi Varamo' and 'Sundari' songs drew
applause from the audience. The 'Marumallela' song comes as
background score whenever Nanditha das appears. Much of the
background score is dominated by four sounds. Auto sounds
and street noises (for the House scenes), Southeastern music
(for Sri Lanka) and sea tidal sounds (beach scenes). AR Rehman
music is another plus point. DTS mixing by Sreedhar is also
Photography by Ravi S Chandran is superb. He made excessive
use of techniques like shaking camera and rotating it by 90
degrees. The scenic beauty and the canning of blasts towards
climax are well depicted.
Editing by Srikar Prasad disappoints in the second half as
the narrative becomes pretty slow. The first half editing
is pretty good.
Vikram Dharma engineered good thrilling war kind of scenes
between LTTE guys and army for this film, which is pretty
real and effective.
First half of the film is entertaining. Second half of the
film is pretty slow and boring at times. The film is rich
and well taken. But when it comes to entertainment value,
it disappoints. The entire second half has a single mission
of Amrutha searching for her real mother and that's where
the director loses his grip in sustaining interest among the
viewers. The director should have shown how Nanditha Das transforms
from a innocent housewife into LTTE activist and what happened
to Chakri when he left Nanditha after first night. The ending
of the film is abrupt just like the climax of 'Dil Se'. It
may not find a liking for the regular moviegoers. But it's
a must-watch for all the movie lovers who are interested in
get into films line. We have to wait and see what the box
office has in store for this Mani Ratnam's film, which released
after a gap of 2 years.