Tuesday, February 03, 2004


Its a film coming from Shankar after 3-1/2 years, if we don't include 'Mudhalvan' being remade in Hindi. It had created a lot of expectations, but I think it'll only be a hit in the A centres, as the film is about and hence targets the college goers of liberalised India. The girls & the Indian family in general may find 'Boys' a letdown.

The film begins with an introduction of 5 college boys - Munna, Juju, Krishna, Bob & Kumar, their habits, family backgrounds & their 3 pass times - ponnunga, figurunga, girls. There's this neighbourhood girl, Harini, who all of them try to woo.

Vivek, portraying the role of an ICICI bank executive, joins the boys gang as a friend-philosopher-guide at a local bar. Each guy's plan to seduce Harini ends up in disaster. Oppurtunity knocks on their doors finally, as Harini herself comes and asks for help. On helping her, the boys get all beaten up, but end up with the catch prize - that of a date with Harini & her friends!

Munna is the one who finally catches the eye & mind of the pretty girl, but thanx to a prank played by Harini's friend, only after he crosses the Mount Road in nude & spends a day in jail.

Till then, the film is all play as the boys-girls affairs is shown Shankar ishtyle - funny but a bit too obscene. The parents come to know of the affair. They get all heated up as all parents do and come to the conclusion of separating the friends and putting conditions of no meeting afterwards.

The lovebirds find it hard and they do meet now and then, get caught in the process etc. Meanwhile Harini's parents decide to send her to the US for doing her MS. This makes Munna & Harini decide to tie the knot and they travel to Tirupati with friends & of course Vivek. On their way back, they are caught by the police and another showdown happens with their parents.

This time around, the boys with Harini all decide to fight it out by living on their own. Thanks to Vivek and other friends, they get petty part-time jobs, some real nasty quarters to live in (a pump house & an old car). But to continue their college studies, they require fee money for which they come up with the idea of coming out with an Iyyapan cassette. The cassette is a hit but all the money from it goes as advance for their newly rented house. When they try to rise money again, they are approached by a naxalite who wants them to write revolutionary songs. Not knowing who they are gonna work with, the boys & Harini end up being arrested under POTA.

Finally they do come out of it as they are proved to be innocent, but only after being put into the rigours of jail life. The colleges suspend them as they now have criminal records but Vivek eggs them on to put a pop music album this time.

They approach SONY and convince the top guy there of their talents. Disaster strikes again, as Harini gets angry and walks out of Munna & friends over a trifle matter - that of the boys' experience with a call girl before she got married to Munna. As expected, the music company guy remains adament that Harini should sing along.

The boys have no alternative but to go beg Harini to sing (reminds one of 'Minsara Kanavu'). Her mom agrees, but being a real vamp allows so only on the condition that Munna agrees for a divorce first. In between, Kumar sees the call girl traveling in a bus and in the bid to get her talk of the real things that happenned to Harini, dies tragically, getting run over by the bus.

The BOYS album gets made after all this mess & becomes a huge hit. The band bags the MTV music awards too. In the final court scene, Solomon Papiya comes as a judge and predictably, the couple gets rejoined in whats left of a sweet climax.

The song sequences are typical of Shankar - huge number of dance artistes ('Maaro Maaro', a modified cheaper version of the 'murasu' dance in 'Chandralekha') & graphic effects ('Boom Boom' by Adnan Sami & 'girlfriend venum'). Rahman doesn't have many scenes to emote, so his BGM comes out fine. Seems the film was remade after 'Thulluvadho Illamai' came & Sujata rewrote the whole script. That really has taken its toll as the screenplay lacks vigour and the events are so predictable. The 'convent' Tamil being spoken through out slightly irritates. But the enthu & raw talent of the youngsters, the catchy music/dance sequences, combined with some (Vivek) humor make the film somewhat watchable.

(Sep 2, 2003)