The International Movie Review

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Silanerangalil – A thriller with a different backdrop

Posted by harino1 on March 1, 2008

A murder case that took place in mid sixties is narrated through a voice and radio news as the titles role on. A husband is accused of murdering his wife and he has been sentenced to death.

The film then moves forward with a dream by a girl (Navya Nair), who dreams of getting killed by a man. The girl is clad in an old style dress resembling the trend of sixties. She is not able to identify the man. Nor could she rationalize her dream. But one thing is clear. She is frightened. Terribly frightened.

So much so that she could not speak, recall her past, and get to terms with the present.

She is now in a home run by Christian Missionary. She is under care of Jo (Vincent Asokan), the person in charge for the rehabilitation of physically and mentally challenged persons. He names her as Anjali and develops a secret love towards her.

Enters psychiatrist Krishnan (Raghuvaran), expert in hypnotist therapy, comes forward to help them. The therapy reveals that she is the reincarnation of the girl, who was allegedly killed by her husband in 1965. The shocking revelation gives her back the power of speech but still she is unable to recall her past in this birth.

Further sittings with the psychiatrist reveal the possible reason for the murder. The husband suspected an affair between his wife and his friend, a famous playback singer Madhavan (Vineeth). The scenes surfaced in hypnotic sleep identify the husband. It is none other than Jo, who is the reincarnation of the husband.

Now Anjali is afraid of Jo and the doctor starts counseling Jo by putting him into hypnotic sleep. Jo, in his travel to his previous birth, finds that the husband was not responsible for the murder.

Both Anjali and doctor are not ready to accept his words and they suspect that he would repeat the effort in this birth as well.

Jo, who is in love with Anjali, is shaken and determined to find the truth. This leads him searching the missing lines of the murder that took place forty years ago. The script reveals the truth with lots of unexpected twists in the tale.

‘Silanerangalil’, directed by Jaya Raj and produced by Ram New Light Productions Ltd, founded by 4 US based NRI, tells you a thriller with a very different backdrop. The reincarnation angle adds different colour to the murder mystery. The movie has the support of a tight script, lively music, spectacular cinematography (Rajvel), and powerful performances by the main actors.

Malayalam director Jaya Raj who has won national award for five times, has by and large succeeded in presenting a thriller based on reincarnation theory. He has deftly handled the cast and mixed the thrill with right dosage of comedy. He has executed many scenes with aplomb, especially the flash back scenes. The get ups of the characters and the dialogues have credibly recreated the feelings of sixties.

Art director Muthuraj, music director Srikanth Deva, and lyricist Vairamuthu have brilliantly captured the essence of sixties. Veteran playback singer P. Susheela has been made to sing after a long gap for this partially period film. The songs have been beautifully picturised and the songs are tuneful and soothing to the ears. ‘Embavai’ stands out.

The US based producers approached the making of the movie in typical Hollywood style (producers, director and scriptwriter discussing to develop the script and a detailed storyboard) and the result shows. The script is well crafted and deftly executed. The clarity of the director is evident in each frame.

However, there are some missing links in the mystery. The background of the girl in this birth is not revealed till the end. Though the sittings with the doctor are effectively executed, the speed with which the girl goes in to her previous birth lacks credibility. The happenings revealed in hypnotic sleeps going beyond the realm of the person’s first hand experience is not convincing.

Vincent Asokan, son of veteran actor Asokan, smoothly transforms as a hero after playing villain in a few films. The man looks strong and acts well. He has depicted the jealous of a husband well and has excelled in stunt scenes. His looks help a lot in portraying the character with credibility.

Navya Nair, with lovely looks, is flawless. She brings out the fear and doubt in her face very well. Her expressive eyes play a vital role. Vineeth in a different get up in impressive, while Raghuvaran as a doctor with shades is convincing. He has excelled in the scene where he encounters his aged sister. Fathima Babu as jealous sister in law is perfect.

Sreeman in a small role makes his presence felt. Ramesh Khanna and Manobala manage to provide some comical moments.

Overall, Jaya Raj and his team have done well to give us a thriller with a different treatment. The movie passes muster despite some hiccups in the script.

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