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Movie review - Panchatantram by Gudipoodi Srihari
(Thoroughly entertaining)

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Genre: Comedy
Banner: Maha Lakshmi Imaging
Cast: Kamal Hassan, Simran, Ramyakrishna, Sangavi, Devayani, Jayaram, Ramesh Aravind, Sriman, Satyanarayana, Nagesh, Manivannan, KS Ravikumar, Ramesh Khanna, Urvasi, Aishwarya, Kovai Sarala, Dubbing Janaki, Vidya.
Story: Kamal Hassan
Dialogues: Vennelakanti
Music Director: Deva
Lyrics: Chandrabose, Bhuvanachandra
Presentor: Editor Mohan
Producer: MV Lakshmi
Screenplay & Direction: KS Ravikumar
Release date: 30th August 2002

Gudipoodi Srihari Review

It is a hilarious comedy, enjoyable throughout its run. This time Kamal Hassan is joined by a set of four artistes playing his friends, constituting this funny title. It is the 'tantram' of these five people to tide over the problems they create for themselves. The humour is both situational and dialogue oriented, subtle in expression. Vennelakanti takes credit for transliterating well, the lines from the Tamil original to suit the lip movement, retaining the punch. It is more a situational comedy, with these friends, working in different places, coming together and getting into problems, from where it becomes difficult for them to wriggle out.

The central character is Ram (Kamal Hassan), a pilot, who fails in love with Mythili (Simran) and marries her. But what happens after this young man and his friends move to places, leaving their wives back at home, forms the major part back at home, forms the major part of the show. But Mythili notices him at 'suspicious' places.

The explanation he gives to his life to save his skin raises more questions and compounds his problems. All the four friends are with him like 'one for five and five for one'. Thus it is a chain of comedy of errors.

The last girl Ram comes into contact is a call girl Maggie (Ramya Krishna). But to the horror of all the friends, she's found dead in a pool of blood. And the finger of suspicion is pointed towards Ram.

Maggie's involvement with a crime ring comes into focus here and the rest of the drama brings in more queer characters only to kick up the intensity of humour further.

The roles of the curious wives of these friends also become source for good humour. And all these couples belong to different language groups. What Ram does to save himself while saving his friends is what forms the equally hilarious climax. Worth watching.

Though Kamal plays the central figure of the drama, the interesting element is that all the friends and their wives get equal share in keeping the audience rolling in laughter. There is a dance number featuring Ramya Krishna and Simran, which his delightful. There is no dull moment for those who wish to enjoy slapstick.

K.S. Ravikumar deserves credit, for playing up so many characters at one time and giving them right dialogue. Music is quite measured and interesting, maintaining the role of the film.

courtesy: The Hindu

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