``Kathalukku Mariathai''     - 26th Dec., 1997.

               The viewers will certainly go into raptures the way director Fazil has
               devised and handled the climax in a simple love tale of a Hindu boy with a
               Christian girl in Murugan Cine Arts' ``Kathalukku Mariathai,'' just as he
               has showed his mettle in the other portions of this clean film. The director
               works neatly on the `love at first sight' principle, the rough stuff brought
               about by the brothers of the girl, all natural reaction, being unavoidable.
               ``Baby'' Shalini has blossomed into a beautiful maiden, the long absence
               from the silver screen not in anyway affecting her performance. The hero,
               Vijay brings to surface the soft nature of the love in all its glory. Gokul
               Krishna's dialogue embellish the developments. Added to these fine
               aspects are the melodious numbers Ilayaraja has tuned in ``Ennai Thalatta
               Varuvala'' (two versions, one by Hariharan and Bhavatharani and the other
               by the maestro himself) and ``Ananda Kuyilin Paattu'' (Chitra).

               Jeeva (Vijay) meets Mini (Shalini) in a book shop and their eyes meet
               leading to sparks of love in their hearts. Mini has a loving mother
               (K.P.S.Lalitha) and three brothers, James (Radha Ravi), Thomas (Vijai of
               `Thalaivaasal') and Stephen (newcomer Shaji Khan) and she is the apple
               of their eye. Mini is hesitant to reciprocate her love for Jeeva who steadily
               makes an inroad into her heart, the love affair incensing her family members
               who give him a thrashing each time he meets her. Jeeva's parents are under
               the impression that their son is pursuing his MBA studies until his father
               receives a SOS from Jeeva, injured in one such beatings. His father
               Chandrasekhar (Sivakumar) is stunned by the developments and Jeeva's
               mother (Srividya) is also shocked. Jeeva refuses to part company with
               Mini when his father arrives with his henchmen to take him back. The
               Christian family wants Jeeva dead. The developments till this juncture might
               have found expression in earlier movies but these events have been treated
               with a mature head along with some comic element by Charly and Dhamu,
               as the friends of the hero.

               Realising that the lovers' existence is in danger, Kesavan (Charly) suggests
               that they find refuge in his father's (Manivannan's) fishermen hamlet and the
               couple elope followed by the brothers. Manivannan refuses to give them
               away and the brothers swear bloodshed. A registrar wedding is quickly
               arranged and on the eve of the wedding, the lovers learn of the unlimited
               love, affection and care their respective family members have for them and
               decide not to hurt their sentiments. They agree to part company. The
               fisherfolk leader is shocked first at their decision, and later understands
               their feelings and sends them back safely, an appreciable twist in the

               The best segment of the movie follows next. The elated and much relieved
               elders hastily arrange the weddings of their offsprings when the respective
               mothers learn how lonesome the two lovers are. Jeeva's mother using the
               excuse of returning the chain belonging to Mini, goes to Mini's house with
               her husband, son and his two friends and James receives them warmly.
               Instead of sparks flying here the director brings into play the human
               sentiments, the mothers leading the show, and the camera of Anand Kuttan
               sharply catching the artistes at their best. The meagre amount of dialogue
               merges wonderfully with those enacting them, an interesting climax.

               Serious looking Shalini enacts the tender role of a confused sweetheart
               caught between the love of her elders and that of the man who has stolen
               her heart without blemish. Vijay shows controlled aggression in his fights as
               the rivals happen to be the brothers of his sweetheart and dances with
               relish. His voice modulations heightens his portrayal. Sivakumar, Srividya
               and Lalitha make fine contributions to the drama along with the three
               brothers, Radharavi, Vijai and Shaji Khan.