Leelai Review

Two of Karunai Malar's (Manasi Parekh) friends have fallen prey to playboy Karthick (Shiv Pandit). Both of them have had week-long relationships that have ended with them being dumped like disposable accessories. Malar hasn't met this guy and by god, she doesn't want to. However, her attempts at giving him a piece of her mind have led to heated exchanges over phone.

Months later, Karthick and Malar find themselves working at the same place. He dials the wrong extension number and history repeats itself. A colleague of Karthick, Vikki, tells him that she is indeed an attractive woman, something he couldn't have guessed from her name. He manages to catch a glimpse of her and is eager to hook up, now that their discord from the past doubles his excitement. He approaches her with a different name, Sundar and they begin a relationship.

He wants to get into her pants and reinforce his Womanizer image. Whenever he feels that progress has been made with respect to his master plan, he calls up as Karthick and taunts her. Along the way, he develops genuine feelings of affection for her and she, too, reciprocates. Karthick realizes he has taken his game far but he can't go through with it. While the probable consequences ring in his head, a common friend of the couple pressurizes him to reveal his true self as she feels guilty for being an accessory. He is caught in a state of moral dilemma; between self-preservation and self-destruction. Yet he continues to call her up as Karthick and taunt her. A haze comes over us as Karthick's objective becomes unclear. And it feels like the film-makers are toying with us, just as he is with her.

This romantic comedy is in the same league as Kadhal Sodhappavadhu Yeppadi, except that the latter has got accomplished actors. Leelai is occasionally funny but even when not, it is engaging, thanks to its actors. Both of them are complete naturals. Santhanam's work here is standard- to deliver some quick one-liners. They are no work of writing genius but they draw chuckles simply because the person

uttering them hasn't been seen before in formal wear. Satish Chakravarthy's music's a breeze; nice with the film but doesn't really stick with you.

Leelai does have uneven patches. When the narrative begins to sag and character inconsistencies surface, you feel your energy level decline. Phone calls from Karthick keep coming and viewers get weary of the redundancy.

For the most part, Andrew Louis' Leelai is earnest in its narration and interested in its characters. Rating: 2.5 - Rohit Ramachandran