Leelai (2012)

Director: Andrew Louis
Casts: Shiv Pandit, Manasi Parekh, Santhanam, Suhashini
Music: Sakthi Chakarvarthy
Language: Tamil
Genre: Romantic Comedy

‘Leelai’ which have been in cans from 2009 have been finally release after a series of financial difficulties. As trend in Tamil cinema is changing rapidly, the release of ‘Leelai’ evoked many doubts on its content and box office performance. However, ‘Leelai’ have smashed those wandering thoughts away by offering a neat, simple and realistic urban love story.

Firstly debut director Andrew has to be praised for his decision not to rely on too much of cinematic liberties and commercial elements to make his film shine. Choosing an urban office setting, he grips the screenplay tight with soft treatment, realistic characters and down-to-earth concept to make his way to prove his calibre.

The performances of the casts are the strongest element of the film. Shiv Pandit as Karthik blends in with the character very well and does a neat job. He underplays at many scenes and carries the film on his shoulder with his charming presence on screen. Manasi as Malar also does a great job, and her transitions of emotions are done very naturally. She does not give any space to make the audience realize that she is a debutant. Suhasini is ok while, Santhanam rocks as usual.

Technically, ‘Leelai’ excels in music, camera and costume design, suitably designed to lift the film further. Sakthi Chakarvarthy’s music and BGM suits the story well, with ‘Oru Killi’ standing out the most. Velraj’s camera is at his best as usual, capturing the urban environment with soft tones of light. Costume design for the whole film is well designed as each character is well taken care off, especially in songs.

However, Leelai has it weak points such as predictable story and cliché ending but does not grown on us due to its tight screenplay. Even though, Andrew could had the scope to insert many songs to the film to make use of the music element, he chose not to with such a fixated view.

Verdict: 'Leelai' offers a well-executed feel good urban romance, with minimum deviations.

Rating: 3/5


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