Nenjinile, Jun 25th, 1999

Cast: Vijay , Isha Gopikar , Manivannan , ‘Nizhalgal’ Ravi , Devan
Music: Deva
Direction: S.A.Chandrasekhar

As a self-confessed masala movie fan, I do admit to looking forward to Nenjinile a little more than I looked forward to most of the recent spate of romantic movies. Afterall, it was set in Dharavi and starred Vijay, who has proved his stunt and dance credentials quite nicely in recent hits like Priyamudan, Thullaadha Manamum Thullum and Endrendrum Kaadhal .

Karunakaran(Vijay), a jobless youth, travels to Bombay with the dream of going to Dubai and earning enough to conduct his sister’s wedding. But there, he is cheated by an old acquaintance. He falls in love with Nisha (Isha) , a rich girl, but the girl’s father(Devan), who disapproves of their romance, orders him to leave Bombay.

Karuna moves in with his friend and gets a job under his friend’s boss but learns soon thereafter that the boss is the local dada and his own job is that of a goon. Fearing for his friend’s life, he continues in the job against his own wish. He earns enough to ensure a rich lifestyle for his parents back in the village. But when his own gang goes after Nisha after killing her parents, he tries to protect her, earning their wrath.

The stunt sequences have been done well with Vijay taking several risks (One chase in a container yard stands out). He dances enthusiastically in the song sequences too. But the rest of the movie is so bad as to make the whole experience rather painful. The romance between Vijay and Isha is cliched and not helped by the total lack of chemistry between them. And our patience is tested to the limits by the longwinded, anti-violence speech Vijay delivers in the end.

Vijay leaves a lot be desired in the emoting department and and one of his songs(with lines about fans and philosophies) sounds suspiciously like a song in a Rajnikanth movie making us wonder if he has already let success go to his head. Isha, who was so good in Kaadhal Kavidhai , appears rather stiff. Manivannan has another unconnected, unfunny comedy track. Roja appears in a single dance number. This seems to be the trend these days – after Roja herself in Kaadhal Kavidhai and Simran in Edhirum Pudhirum.

Deva has a good song in Manase Manase… and more surprisingly, none of the songs remind you of any old songs. But he continues his disturbing trend of singing for young heroes.