When you go to a theater and see posters of pretty girls with some revealing clothing
and some couples in, well, exciting positions, you would naturally expect to go
in and come out happy. But how would you explain it if you don't get what you
expected, but still came out with a feeling of having enjoyed a movie and not
of having wasted your money? That's probably what you will feel after this one!
The story is set in a small, semi-urban town where the landlord is still king. And more relevantly, where the old custom of 'devadasis' is still being practiced. Bangaramma runs the Devadasi Nilayam, which is nothing but a glorified brothel. Shankar is the in-house handyman, and his very beautiful daughter Malathi comes of age. But he is dead against her becoming a devadasi, and does everything in his power to prevent it, even committing murder. But Malathi is charmed into becoming a devadasi, and unable to bear this, Shankar commits suicide.
Shankar had hangs himself from the town bell, and so this headman orders it replaced, since it is 'polluted'. So a group of masons comes to town and only now does the hero of the story make an appearance. The young handsome mason sees Malathy and falls for her immediately. It's like love at first sight for both.
But Malathi is the favorite of the all-powerful headman-priest, and that doesn't bode well for the hero. Yet, even after getting thrashed by the headman and his goons, our man can't resist, and he plans to elope with Malathi. The climax is something that is better watched than told because you are kept hoping for ...well, maybe you should just watch it!
The movie has some excellent music - it is very soothing on the ears and suits the mood. The cinematography is also good, with quite some beautiful scenes of rural life. On occasion, the director shows flashes of brilliance. The lead couple makes a good pair, and I found the heroine fascinatingly beautiful!
But a big factor that undermines the whole effort of the movie is the pace of
narration. Man, it's like watching a snail on a pilgrimage! The movie would have
had far more appeal and probably done better if it had a tighter narration. And
the last thing such a movie needs is the porn-flick tag!