Directed by: Pon Kumaran
Produced by: Ramesh Krishnamoorthy (Tamil), Dwarakeesh (Kannada)
Based on: Alone by Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom
Starring : Priyamani, Skanda, Saranya Ponvannan, Seetha
Music by: Sundar C Babu
Cinematography: Panner Selvam
Editing by: Donmax
Studio: Global One Studios (Tamil)
Distributed by: Hansraj Saxena
Release date: September 21, 2012
Language : Kannada, Tamil
Priyamani carved a niche for herself with Paruthiveeran but after that she failed to live up to the expectations of her fans.
Even Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan in which she played an important role did not do wonders to her career. The actress is now all set to prove herself with Chaarulatha where she plays conjoined twins. This film is a remake of the Thai film Alone. The filmmakers deserve a special appreciation for getting the remake rights from the original filmmaker. Well, let’s check out how this film fares…
Thus far, in Tamil films, we’ve seen brothers, uncles and aunts, mother and son, father and daughter, friends all being separated. But in Chaarulatha, a conjoined twin is separated. Well, this is told in a very thrillingly; thanks to the racy script. The director has included paranormal activity, loud violin sounds at the background, with some unexpected twists and turns to make the story interesting.
Charu and Latha are conjoined twins with different attitudes altogether. While one is calm the other is the rough-and-tough type. To substantiate this, the director has ensured that both of them sport a totally different get-up! Both of them love each other very much and make it a point to stick together no matter what.
Both the girls are interested in violin and start attending classes to learn the instrument. During these classes they meet Kamal, the hero. While both of them fall in love with him, he is attracted towards Charu. When Latha comes to know about this, problems arise between the sisters. They decide to undergo a surgery and separate. Unfortunately, during this surgery, Latha dies.
Even after her death, Latha roams around as a spirit with the sole aim of separating the lovers. The rest of the story is aimed at finding the answers to: What happens to Charu and Kamal’s love? What happened to Latha’s spirit? (Apart from this, there are a few twists as well. It is better left for the audiences to enjoy at the theaters!)
Though stories about paranormal activities are not new to Tamil cinema, this film is because it is about a conjoined twins. (Chaarulatha may have released before Maatraan and there was another film on the same subject Iruvan, which bombed at the box office). Scenes where Latha takes on the injection when Charu is unwell and flying twin kites etc., are appreciable. This shows the bonding between the sisters.
Priyamani has carried the entire film on her shoulders throughout. Particularly in the climax when she delivers dialogues both furiously and calmly, she deserves a special applause.
As usual Saranya has done her role perfectly well and Seetha, though her role is small, has done a good job as well.
Director Pon Kumaran should be praised for fragmenting a big flashback into small bits and including it where necessary. The director has not included gruesome scenes despite it being a horror flick but has employed other tricks to scare the audiences. The twists here and there make the film interesting.
Aiming to bring the audiences to the edge of the seat right from the start, the director has included the clichéd birthday party scene. The comedy scenes involving Aarthi and her brother could have been done away with. They are certainly boring to the core.
For a thriller, the most important aspects are the BGM and cinematography. The director has realized this and has made the best use of their services. Music director Sundar C Babu and cameraman Panner Selvam has done a good job. One example is the scene where Priyamani lies on the bed and this is shown from the top angle. Similarly, when Priyamani is shown as a conjoined twin, they had not completely relied on computer graphics but the cinematographer has done tricks with his camera making it pleasurable to watch her in action. CG is ok. The director could have avoided that sole duet. Thank god! There were no duets after that!
If the director had concentrated on the screenplay, included some new scenes and thought about logic, he could surely have scared the audiences just as Kanchana did. In total, the director has managed to scare a little and bore a little.
Plus: Priyamani’s excellent acting, glamour where necessary, background score, camera and the twist in the end.
Minus: Comedy, guessable scenes, one song, stereotypical scenes that we’ve seen in other films and illogical scenes.
In total: Those who love thrillers can see this film once!