CHANDRAMUKHI (2005)

If you watch television, you couldn’t have missed Chandramukhi. It is considered to be one of the biggest hits of Rajnikanth and also the one that re-established him as the super star that he is now. I watched Chandramukhi quite a few times before but never liked it enough to write a review about it. I always felt that Bhul Bhulaiya starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan was a better film and I still feel the same but now that I often find myself in a lonely hotel room with nothing more than a TV to pass time, I cannot help but fall prey to the over the top but indelible charm of Chandramukhi that gets at least a show a day on the cable network.

To quickly sum up the plot, Chandramukhi is the story of a rich couple Ganga (Jyothika) and Senthilnathan (Prabhu) who move into a palatial but dilapidating mansion believed to have the ghost of a courtesan called Chandramukhi trapped in one of its floors. Ganga who is undeniably interested in the courtesan’s folklore opens up the doors to Chandramukhi inner sanctum that starts a series of events that point fingers at a supernatural presence in the mansion. The events not only threaten the lives of the people living in the house but also look set to destroy the marital bliss of the couple. The only person standing between the spirit and the couple is Saravanan (Rajnikanth) a talented psychologist and a friend of the family.

There are endless reasons to love this film. The biggest of them all is its re-see value. Even though you know exactly which way the story is headed and practically know every dialog, there is something about the film that will hold on to your attention and make you not go for that remote control. I believe a lot has to be accredited to Rajnikanth’s magnetic persona. Watching a film that is dubbed takes away a few vital elements from the performance and even then his act is resplendent and catchy. He works in the comic sequences, he kicks ass in the action sequences and you take him to be a psychologist even though he neither acts nor tries to be anything like one.

The screenplay of the film is gripping. Even after we know the plot, there is something very catchy about it all. The story unfolds at a breakneck speed and if one could ignore the songs and the dances, there isn’t a single wasted minute in the whole film. The supporting cast matches Rajnikanth’s act move for move. Jyothika turns in an interesting performance wherein she is theatrical and subdued beyond compare at the same time. It isn’t an easy thing to do. She rocks in the climax where with her heightened expressions she is nearly not recognizable.

I loved the act of Vadivelu. He is one of my favorite comedians and here he plays a guy torn between saving his wife from Saravanan’s advances (he thinks so apparently) and his fear of the ghost and what Saravanan makes him do. He is hilarious and will tickle your funny bones in the scenes that he shares with Rajnikanth.

Chandramukhi is the kind of harmless entertainer that one and watch and enjoy at any time. It is carefully crafted and has all the elements that a film likes this need have. The Rajnikanth performance is the icing on an already tasty cake. I can watch this film a million times more and I know I will still love it.

Rating : 3.5/5 (3.5out of 5 Stars)

 

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