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Review: Ambasamudhiram Ambani

regional-movies Updated: Jul 10, 2010 15:56 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
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Ambasamudhiram Ambani
Director: P. Ramnath
Actors: Karunas, Navnith Kaur, Kotta and Master Shanker
Rating: ***

Tamil cinema’s recent foray into realism has been refreshing, more so it’s social messaging. Once Indian cinema propagated socio-economic values with great finesse. Tamil films were certainly in the forefront of this movement. P. Ramnath’s Ambasamudhiram Ambani looks at ambition and dream within the ambit of honesty, sincerity and hard work in a country where wealth has been largely amassed through unlawful means.

Dhandapani’s (Karunas) proverbial rags-to-riches story in Ambasamudhiram Ambani may be pooh-poohed by cynics as utterly implausible. But the movie does manage to hold on to strings of authenticity, faltering though occasionally.

Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Dhandapani, who lands in Chennai as a boy from the town of Ambasamudhiram, vows to become another Ambani. Orphaned tragically, he finds a kind soul in Annachi (Kotta), who persuades a newspaper agent to give the boy a bicycle and a chance to live. Dhandapani remains steadfast in his resolve, and every time he glances towards giant billboards advertising the consumer products of one tycoon or another, one cannot miss the similarity with Will Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness. Based on a true story, Smith’s Chris Gardner stands on the sidewalk outside the tall stock exchange and promises to succeed. Dhandapani’s trials are no less heartrending than Gardner’s, but the man from Ambasamudhiram finds a soul-mate in Nandini (Navnith Kaur), who helps steady him as he staggers to cross seemingly insurmountable impediments.

Although the concept grips you, the style and script are flawed in some ways. Tamil directors and writers invariably fall into the trap of peppering their works with downright buffoonery and vulgar dance numbers. And though the stories largely by themselves may have interesting elements, scripting imperfections mar the narrative. It is never clear, for instance, why the accomplished and beautiful Nandini falls for Dhandapani, unlettered and unattractive. It is too far-fetched a romance that Ambasamudhiram Ambani could have done without. Often, the temptation to infuse a film with just about every aspect of human existence spells disaster, and Ramnath’s work suffers on this count of wanting to give it all.