Remakes are no easy task. It has to sustain the interest of the original. And it is doubly so When it happens to be a period film. Director N K Viswanathan has taken this challenge and has come out with ‘Jaganmohini’, a remake of yesteryear hit directed by Vittalacharya titled the same. Half the battle seems to have been won once the filmmaker had zeroed in on Namitha for the lead role.
Namitha replaces Jeyamalini who played the lead role in the original. She not just oozes glamour but also comes up with a convincing performance. She lends solidity to the role. Also such movies demand good computer graphics, which generally form its backbone. Viswanathan has used the state-of-the-art technologies well though at places it looks tacky and artificial.
In a nutshell, ‘Jaganmohini’ is a war between the good and the evil laced with romance. The movie begins at Pachai Theevu, ruled by a mighty king (Narasimha Raju). His son and prince Jagathalapradhapan (Raja) is a valourous youth who sets out on a mission to capture pirates in the sea. He lands at Sangu Theevu, where the head of the sea pirates Alai Kallan lives. Jagathalapradhapan comes across Mohini (Namitha), who belong to the local fishermen community in the island.
Romance blossom between them. Jagathalapradhapan manages to nab Alai Kallan and decides to return to his country. He promises Mohini that he would bring his parents to arrange for their wedding. However the King and his wife Mangayarkarasi (Yuvarani) arranges for their son’s marriage with a princess Azhagu Nachiyar (Nila). Jagathalapradhapan tries hard to convince his parents that he would marry only Mohini.
To put an end to the problem, the king and his wife hatch a conspiracy and bump off Mohini. Enters a cruel tantrik (Kota Sreenivasa Rao), who uses the feud between Jagathalapradhapan and Alai Kallan and plans to kill Jagathalapradhapan and thereby get the ultimate power to rule the world. But all his plans are altered when Mohini’s spirit comes back to earth. Eventually it is a clash between the two – the fight between the good and evil.
The movie’s story reminds one of Ambulimama stories. What begins on a promising note slowly ends up as mediocre show cashing in on Namitha’s glamour. She has rendered justice living up to all hopes wrested on her. Raja fits the role well. Narasimha Raju who played the lead role in the original plays the old King. A comedy track by Vadivelu in the company of Venniradai Murthy is loaded with double entendre.
Kota Srinivasa Rao as greedy tantrik has come out with what he has been doing in his earlier movies. The cast also includes Jothi Lakshmi, Riaz Khan among others.
Illayaraja’s background is okay while his songs disappoint. Produced by H Murali, the movie could have been made crisper to suit the current trend. At the end of the day, an original is always the original.
Jaganmohini – Old wine in new bottle.