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Posted on Dec 15, 02:10PM | IANS
Film: "Neethaane En Ponvasantham"; Actors: Jiiva, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Vidyullekha Raman and Santhanam; Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon; Rating: **
As promised during the promotion of the film, Gautham's "Neethaane En Ponvasantham" (NEP) could very well be anyone's love story. But, sadly, why will anyone want to revisit his or her love story if it's filled with fewer heartwarming moments and mostly egoistic clashes and blame games?
NEP definitely deserves some appreciation for successfully mirroring modern-day love-and-hate relationships. Sadly, though, it fails to engage the audience with its cliched presentation.
Varun and Nithya, played by Jiiva and Samantha respectively, have been extremely fond of each other since their school days. It begins as a juvenile love story, gradually growing into an unexplainable feeling coupled with strong emotions, and eventually paving the way for love.
However, Varun and Nithya keep parting and meeting at different junctures in life and still happen to share the same feelings. Will Varun and Nithya celebrate a happy ending or not: that's what the rest of the story is about.
Though the film justifies with valid reasons why Varun and Nithya part ways at regular intervals, it appears corny. In one particular scene, for example, Varun parts ways citing the urge to do an MBA, to only reunite with Nithya after few years. Ridiculous! If Menon wanted to tell his audience how hackneyed most relationships in reality are, then probably he may be right. But, who would want to pay money, spend a few hours and be told something so banal?
Thanks to Illayaraja's music, NEP keeps hope alive throughout and gives one the feeling of having watched a musical love story.
Jiiva and Samantha fit in their respective roles quite convincingly. Samantha's transformation from a school kid to an adult is a treat to watch despite at times being melodramatic, while Jiiva turns in an equally satisfying performance.
Santhanam and newcomer Vidyu succeed in providing some laughable moments. Of all the friends around Samantha, Vidyu has a stronger part to play and she pulls it off easily. Scenes between Santhanam and Jiiva are highly entertaining and help in engaging the audience.
The extended climax was annoying. Had the director shortened the climax by a good 10 to 15 minutes, people wouldn't be complaining.
"Neethaane En Ponvasantham" doesn't live up to the hype. I wonder what this film might have been, without Raja's music. Despite being mostly done to death, there are a few moments that one can look forward to in this film. To watch a film for a few memorable moments. Is that worth it?