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Cast: Aravindsamy, Gowthami, Ranjitha, Thalaivasal Vijay, Sabhitha Anand, Sujitha
Banner: National Film Development Association
Producer: National Film Development Association
Lyrics: Ka.Kali Muthu, Arivumathi, Muthu Lingam
Music: Bala Bharathi
Mahendran is one of the most noted directors in Tamil cinema and made films based on complexities of human relationships. His repertoire includes classics like Mullum Malarum and Uthiripookkal.
Now after many years, Mahendran has come out with another poignant human drama Sasanam which has been lying in the can for some time. The story and presentation is old and has no relevance to today’s commercial cinema but what makes the film tick is Arvind Swamy’s performance.
The story is set in Karaikudi and has the Chettinad and Chettair culture as the backdrop. There are three main characters around which the story revolves- Ramanathan (Aravind Swamy) a rich Chettiar and a nice guy whom the villagers look up to. He has a lovely wife Visalakshi (Gowthami) but has no children. One day Saroji (Ranjita) and her mother come to their lives seeking help. Ramanathan gives them shelter and protection and soon he develops closeness towards Saroji. Visalakshi thinks that her husband is a perfect man but soon she discovers his affair with Saroji which leads to a piquant situation.
Mahendran should be given credit for showing an extra-marital affair without resorting to skin show or vulgarity. He has worked on human drama that unfolds when a man has an affair that leads to a breakdown in his personal life. The hurt and pain Ramanathan causes to his wife is brilliantly portrayed by the director. The supporting cast like Ramanathan’s sister (Sabitha Anand) and the faithful Man Friday (Thalaivasal Vijay) also adds to the sensitive manner in which the story has been treated.
Gouthami returns after a break and she is excellent as Visalakshi. Ranjita is the only drawback and she is not convincing as a dancer and is not able to able to get her expressions correctly. Arvind Swamy is first rate opting for a restrained mode in which he is able to bring out the pathos and hidden feeling of the character very well.
On the whole Sasanam tugs your heart strings, striking the right chord though a bit slow and old fashioned in shot compositions and presentation.
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