Rameswaram Review

Pre-release talk about "Rameswaram" gave one the impression that the film would be all about the struggle and plight of Sri Lankan Tamils who come to India as refugees because of the civil war in their homeland. But the film disappoints those who got this impression. Director Selva has, in crafting a simple love story, used the battle- scarred Tamil areas in Sri Lanka only as a backdrop, picking one of the young refugees to be the protagonist.


The young Jeeva, the hero, has once again proved that he is capable of playing tough, single dimensional characters. Jeeva has played the character with such maturity and involvement that he made the director's job easy. Jeeva deserves all the credit for making the film entertaining.


Here goes the story.


Mandapam, near Rameswaram, is a transit camp for Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka. Jeevan (Jeeva) and his uncle (Manivannan) land in Rameswaram as the refugees who fled their native place to escape the bombardments, which rendered the living conditions in Tamil areas unbearable. Vasanthi (Bhavana) is an obedient daughter of a big man, (Lal) who is engaged in humanitarian activities for the refugees. Lal provides shelter for Jeevan and his uncle as for the other refugees. Vasanthi takes pity on Jeevan on hearing his sad story. She admires his qualities and falls in love with him without considering for a moment the sad plight of the boy who is uncertain of his future. But, with his mind in turbulence, Jeevan is not reciprocating the girl's feelings. A determined Vasanthi is however persistent and the two eventually come closer. As their love is blossoming there enters Vasanthi's cousin Saravanan (Bose Venkat), a local inspector, who has been waiting to marry her. He and the girl's father start plotting to eliminate Jeevan. In the meantime, Jeevan decides to return to his country not wanting to complicate matters. He promises Vasanthi to come back and marry her when the situation back home returns to normalcy. The rest of the story is on predictable lines.


Jeeva with a deep tan and long hair looks every bit a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee. He has played the role imbibing the spirit of the character. His performance stands out. Bhavana as the daughter of the rich man is vibrant and has given good support to Jeeva.


Manivannan, Lal, Bose Venkat and Karunas have done their parts with finesse. Lakshana (Shanthi) and Sampath appear as refugees. Cinematographers Vettri and Gurudev have done a good job in capturing the atmosphere and life in the war-ravaged regions in Sri Lanka. Niru's music, especially the background score, is a plus-point. The number "Ellarayum Eththi Ponga" is well choreographed.


What is amiss is no one, not even Jeeva, speaks in Sri Lankan Tamil. Contrary to expectations, the civil war going on in the northern part of Sri Lanka is shown only in passing. Most scenes are set in Rameswaram.


The film passes the muster on the counts of conceptualization, cinematography, background score and characterization of the refugees.


Jeeva has played the character with such maturity and involvement that he made the director's job easy. Jeeva deserves all the credit for making the film entertaining. (2.5) - PVS

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