BRINDHAVANAM SYNOPSIS: A hearing-and-speech-impaired barber in Ooty, who is a huge fan of actor Vivekh, happens to meet his idol, who has come to the hill station on personal work. A poignant friendship develops between the two…
BRINDHAVANAM REVIEW: Brindhavanam is a feel-good tale of the friendship between a star and his fan, with light-hearted humour and emotional moments, some genuinely affecting and some manipulative.
The story revolves around Kannan (Arulnithi), a hearing-and-speech-impaired barber in Ooty, with a happy-go-lucky attitude. One day, he meets actor Vivekh (Vivekh), of whom he is a huge fan, and helps him out. The actor, who is in the hill station on personal work, is touched that a person with such a disability is a fan of his comedy, and develops a rapport with him, which gradually turns into friendship. Meanwhile, Sandhya (Tanya), the daughter of a local store owner, confesses to the actor that she is in love with Kannan and he advises her to express it to the lad. However, when she proposes, Kannan gets agitated and adamantly refuses her. Why is Kannan acting this way?
Radha Mohan is known for genteel films and Brindhavanam is no exception. Even though the disability of the protagonist and the refusal to marry someone who is genuinely interested in them bring Mozhi to our mind, the similarity stops there. This one is more about a star and a fan helping each other sort out their personal issues. The director makes us buy into this relationship. Thankfully, he doesn’t make it schmaltzy. The romantic angle isn’t as impactful, but it doesn’t hurt the film either. And the revelation that we get in the second half is really a surprise.
Among the actors, Vivekh is in good form here. Many of his lines make us laugh out loud, and even some clumsy ones (Obama-ve omapudi saptaalum sindhama saapda mudiyuma) bring half-a-smile. Arulnithi is more effective in the lighter moments, with a relaxed body language; but in the serious scenes, he gets a little stiff. In a girl-next-door role, Tanya gives an assured performance. Even the minor players, like Radha Mohan’s regular MS Bhaskar (who gets a moving scene as usual), Doubt Senthil and Cell Murugan (who plays a production manager and contributes to a funny running gag) make their presence felt.
But some scenes seem to be contrived, like the sub-plot involving Vivekh and his dying friend (Subbu Panchu), which hardly makes us care. And like a brash gambler who refuses to quit on a winning note, the director introduces another conflict, in the form of Sandhya’s parents. But this only makes the film overlong as their objection to marrying their daughter off to Kannan is facetious.