Thursday, July 19, 2007

Freeze Frame #52: Dum Dum Dum

Despite its dismal box office performance, I thought Dum Dum Dum was a fairly well-crafted romantic comedy. It did have a slightly tedious second half, and the big conflict between the parental units seemed a little implausible, but I found it much better than the other Madhavan movie that came around the same time and fared quite well - Minnalae.

Dum Dum Dum is essentially a showcase for Jyothika's brand of acting. She is generally accused by her detractors of playing the same role over and over again, and these detractors are usually right. However, I'd say this is a movie where it is not a disadvantage.

The plot involves the two (Madhavan and Jyothika) being stuck in an arranged marriage neither of them wants, so they do all they can to have it called off before it gets solemnized. As luck would have it, none of it works, they find themselves drawn to each other and then an actual fight erupts and... you can fill in the rest.

Anyway, one of the strategies adopted by Madhavan to try and break the alliance is to approach his prospective father-in-law directly and persuade him not to give any dowry. So, when the parental units are meeting to discuss the details of the marriage, the man does as Madhavan says and refuses to pay a dowry. Jyothika isn't aware of this strategy, so the entire thing is a surprise to her. The way this scene plays out is quite nice - there's actual dialogue being spoken, but the real conversation is the unspoken one, between Madhavan, Murali and Jyothika. All three of them do such a good job with their eyes that you are never in any doubt about what each of them is thinking.


Giri said...

Dum Dum Dum's songs are good..I like the sound of electric guitar in 'thillalangadi' song..

A friend and I went to the movie seeing Mani Ratnam's name on the posters..We walked out during the interval...Someone told me later that the second half was interesting :)

Ramsu said...

The movie was co-written by Mani. The second half is in an urban setting, and probably has a lot of his work.

Incidentally, a long time ago, Suhasini directed a TV series called Penn, where each episode was a short story centering around a female protagonist. She got the established film stars of the day to act in them - Revathy, Amala, Shobana et al.

The Shobana episode was called Love Story or something like that, and featured an abbreviated and slightly different version of this plot. Dunno if Mani scripted that one as well.