Oyee Movie Review

Isaignani Ilaiyaraja who completed scoring music for more than 1000 films has rendered the musical score for many low budget rural based family entertainers mixed with romance and comedy. Over the decades, many films falling under this genre have turned out to be super hits and blockbusters just because of Raja’s music during the 1980s and 1990s. Debutant Director Francis Markus’s ‘Oyee’ is the latest addition to this very long list and let’s see how the film with predominantly new artists and technicians satisfies the present day audience.

Shwetha (Eesha) comes out of Trichy prison on parole to attend the wedding of her elder sister (Neelima Rani) and catches a bus to Chennai. He co-passenger is Krish (Geethan) the scion of a Pannayar family of a village who travels to Chennai to meet his lover Gayathri (Babri Gosh).

Shwetha notices a thief stealing Krish’s jewel and retrieves that from the thief. In the process she misses the bus and her bag. She reaches Krish’s home to handover the jewel but the family members mistake her for Gayathri and make her stay in the home and treat her like a special guest. As, Shwetha learns from her sister that someone is trying to kill her, she uses the mistaken identity and stays in Krish’s home for safety during the parole period. After Krish’s return, the entire family refuses to believe his words and compel him to accept Shwetha as his wife.

What happens to Krish and his family during Shwetha’s stay and what kind of relationship blossoms between two lead characters has been told in the rest.

The first scene in which the heroine is shown as a convict coming out of prison on parole makes us sit attentive, expecting something unique and new, but the attention does not last long. Within the first twenty minutes we get to know that the film is a run of the mill hide and seek game of enmity and love between the hero and heroine- surrounded by a bunch of gullible family members, a funny and womanizing uncle (Arjun) included for the purpose of comedy, a feud of brawn between two Pannaiyar familes over who is mightier in Silambattam – all set in a rural milieu. The story could have offered an interesting watch in the 1990s. The incidents that take place hardly are illogical and they awfully fall short in giving the intended entertainment value. There is no explanation behind the heroine’s prison parole or some goons trying to kill her, till the end. These are just used as reason to necessitate her stay at the hero’s place.

Despite these shortcomings the film cannot be completely written off. Francis does show promise with a few well written scenes that come up with an unexpected turn here and there. The scene where the heroine slaps the hero and turns the table against him is the best example.  The comedy bandwagon that includes veteran actor Sangili Murugan playing the hero’s grandfather has not given enough for the film to get a pass mark as a comedy but we can say that they manage to evoke laughter here and there, with a few one-liners touching the adult zone.

Neat performances by the prominent members of the cast and some meaningful and well written dialogues by N.Baskaran (especially in the second half) are the other plusses of the film that help us sit through.

Geethan is pretty adequate for the role of a go-lucky rural youngster. His looks and expressions remind actor Aari. His efforts to pick up Silambattam deserve a mention. Eesha is a promising find who fits well into the character and her emotions are impeccable. If she manages to get powerful roles backed by good scripts, she will sure stay here for long. Arjunan’s attempts make us laugh succeed here and there. Sangili Murugan also adds up well to the comic portions and in emotional scenes he proves his experience as an actor. Nagineedu as hero’s father fits the bill, but the Telugu flavor in his Tamil diction is bothersome. Babri Gosh looks pretty and has very less scope to perform.

Out of the five songs composed by Ilaiyaraja, ‘Mudinja oru Kai Paru’ is peppy and ‘Thendral varum vazhiyil’ serves a neat melody to the ears despite sounding old. With the Amman Thirivizha song ‘Entha Ooru Ponalum’, Raja proves why his music is the best fit for rural flicks. Re-recording is functional despite matching the mood of the setting in many scenes.

Cinematography by Yugaraj makes us feel like living in the village. Editing by Manikandan leaves nothing to complain about.

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