The story begins with Mehandi’s grandmother narrating a Chinese folktale to Mehandi (Shweta Tripathi). We get introduced to Jeeva, a drunkard, who picks up a fight at the bar. He gets into an argument with a fellow drinker on who the singers are for an Ilaiyaraja song. The context for this is that he runs a music shop in Kodaikanal, where the majority of the story is set. He is an ardent Ilaiyaraja fan, who eventually refrains from updating himself on music starting from Rahman era in 1992. The story travels back in time and Mehandi Circus troupe camps in Kodaikanal to perform there. Mehandi and Jeeva start bumping into each other and fall in love. Sean Roldan’s music combined with Ilaiyaraja’s songs in bits and pieces makes for a decent first half. The second half is about the hurdles they face when they decide to get married to each other. Various twists and turns make Jeeva and Mehandi part their ways. Later, Jeeva sets off on a journey hoping to meet Mehandi.
We are reminded of films like Kattradhu Tamizh, where the bearded hero goes in search of his love. The story, though is predictable, has a few interesting scenes that builds up to the climax. Despite taking a dig at caste and cultural differences, the film still is a light-hearted romantic one that deals more with the pain of parting from your loved one.
Another talking point of the film is the sets and places where the film was shot. Rajendhiran has succeeded in recreating the 90s, for which the effort is evident on screen. Songs from Sean Roldan are on a par with Joker’s album sound tracks, which is one of his bests till date. Shweta Tripathi as a circus girl has completely stolen the show and has shouldered the film. The actress has dubbed for herself in the film which has elevated her performance. Her accent of a Tamil-speaking Hindi girl and her expressions in the scenes where she plays a human target of throwing a knife in circus, will certainly draw the attention of juries in awards.
SK Selvakumar’s cinematography which adds more colour palettes to the story-line and performances, has contributed to make Mehandi Circus a decent watch.
- Kaushik Rajaraman