What would a story about a widow and a widower falling in love
have in common with the word rhythm? As long as you don't go overboard stretching
your imagination, none. And so it is. The Rhythm is for the music. The name
is more appropriate for the soundtrack, which has some pretty cool compositions
by Rehman. The film is being touted as a musical entertainer, and that it surely
Yet, the story is appealing too. An off-beat drama dealing with the lives of
two tragedy-struck souls, Rhythm is a refreshing break from the normal
filmi dramas. Arjun, an assistant commissioner of police in Visakhapatnam, in
charge of the bomb-diffusing squad, is the loving husband of a livewire Jyotika.
Theirs is a fairy tale married life, with all the fun, frolic and freedom that
each one can offer to the other.
Life goes on happily for this zestful, ever-loving couple, though Jyotika dreads
her husband's profession like the plague. Arjun comes to know of his wife's
apprehensions through his friend, and not wanting to make her life miserable
anymore, he quits his job. Jyotika, who goes to attend a marriage, comes to
know of her husband's magnanimous gesture, and rushes back to shower all her
thanks on him. But fate plays a fatal trick, and she is killed in a train accident
on her way back home.
Five years roll by grudgingly for Arjun, who becomes a photo editor in The Indian
Express. He is transferred to Mumbai, where he meets Meena, a fellow commuter,
and they become uneasy acquaintances. But the chance meetings become so frequent
that her dependence on Arjun grows and they end up as friends in a very short
time. And nothing beyond that. When talk about marriage arises, Arjun reveals
his past to her. The indifferent Meena does not have anything to comment, and
it is left at that.
Things stagnate till one day when Meena arrives at his office to give her husband's
obituary. Meena narrates, to the shocked Arjun, how she and Ramesh Aravind met,
and how they become friends and ultimately lovers. Life is rosy for them till
then, but once they get married, her conventional mother-in-law, Lakshmi, refuses
to acknowledge their marriage. When Aravind goes to Ooty to convince his mother,
she refuses to even to see his face. Aravind who comes back dejected is killed
in the same accident that Jyotika meets her fate.
A nice guy, Arjun develops fondness for her. And his fondness grows into love.
But will it bloom is the moot question. And the movie plods along somewhat familiar
lines, till the film reaches its logical conclusion.
Full marks go to the director Vasanth for handling a sensitive subject with
elan. Full marks too for Arjun for deviating from his normal dishum-dishum roles
and experimenting with a subtle theme. He puts in no less than a wonderful performance.
This does not leave behind Meena either - she displays a brilliant range of
emotions. The theme, which has shades of parallel cinema, has been suitably
attuned to the needs of mainstream cinema.
It's the music of the film that is one of the best things about it. The songs
display the five elements of nature - earth, fire, sky, wind and water - and
have been picturised well. And A R Rahman does a neat job with his innovative
musical tunes. As there is little scope for Meena and Arjun to sing in colorful
locations, the director brings in the ravishing Ramya Krishna and the popular
Shankar Mahadevan to fill the slot. And they don't fail you.