By Vivek Ramz
Chaarulatha is one of the few films to be released in all four languages simultaneously down south – Tamil, Kannada, Telugu & Malayalam. Also, it's reported to be the first Indian film with a story revolving around Conjoined twins. The team deserves a pat on its back for officially remaking a Thai film 'Alone' by purchasing the rights, when everyone is busy copying foreign films without giving any credits.
What's it about?
Chaaru and Latha, (both characters played by Priyamani) are conjoined twins and grow up together in thick & thin and promise to remain the same. But destiny has something different in store for them. Skanda enters the scene and falls for Chaaru. She too loves him & the twins decide to get separated, but one of them doesn't survive the operation. The dead sister comes back as a ghost to haunt them. What happens next is told with twists and turns.
Director Ponkumaran succeeded to a large extent with Chaarulatha. He has adapted the Thai film well for the local audience by adding little bit of commercial elements. He stayed true to the original for most parts and made it engaging with few thrills thrown in between in a typical horror fashion. Where he fails is that when he tries to outdo the original by introducing more twists towards the end. The final scene where Priyamani having a conversation with Skanda with his body tied to the chair is unintentionally funny and could have been done away with.
The film mainly lacked the emotional connect and it failed to make the audience root for Priyamani in the end. Ponkumaran didn't give the required depth to the characterization of the twins. Even the romance between Chaaru and Ravi is not convincing enough for the buildup in the latter part of the movie. It looked like as though Ponkumaran wanted to move the film in fast pace with more twists thereby loosing the grip in the plot.
On the positive side, the funny scenes involving Aarthi and the boy are a welcome break in between the serious ones. The opening and end card sequence showing real life conjoined twins is a welcome move and has given the much needed touch.
It's Priyamani's show all the way. The talented actress grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has given one of her best performance till date. Her portrayal of Chaaru and latha is error free and she has worked hard to show differences in the characters with her body language & tone. Kannada actor Skanda did his lover boy act well. Sai Sasi, Saranya Ponvannan and Seetha are convincing in their roles.
Sundar C.Babu has done a decent job in music. His background score provided the necessary eerie effects and songs pass muster. Panneer Selvam's camera work is nothing to boast off where as Donmax's editing is pretty neat. CGI team has executed the scenes involving twins very well that it looked natural.
What to do?
Overall, it's not a bad movie in a horror genre. Watchable once!
Rating - 3/5
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