Considering the number of badly made rural films that are dominating the theatres recently, it is actually refreshing to see a contemporary uncomplicated city based romance that is quite watchable. Though not flawless, Leelai seems like a sincere effort.
Karthik and Malar (aka Karunaimalar), two IT professionals working in the same office, have not seen each other but cant stand one another, thanks to some unpleasant telephonic conversations. When Karthik finally sees Malar without her knowledge, it is love at first sight for him. He woos her and wins her love by changing his identity to Sundar. This euphoria seems short lived when the truth stares at Kathiks face and he is forced to take a call. In the end, alls well.
Debutante director Andrew Lewis picks a simple plot and keeps his narrative uncomplicated and gets his casting quite right as well. The result is a fairly engaging film that is elevated mainly due to decent performances by lead actors. While the start does seem a little jerky, the film very quickly manages to get on track and remains largely consistent. It does get a little tedious towards the end as you are aware of the obvious happy ending. While there arent too many songs in the film, most of them are packed in the second half. This is one main reason for the seemingly long second half. But overall, it is a clean entertainer. Though it has been in the making for quite long, the film does not look dated which is a big plus.
Shiv and Mansi, popular Mumbai models, put in very confident performances. They are natural, get their lip sync and expressions right and hence do not look alien at all. While Mansi frequently reminds you of Jyotika, Shiv remains likeable throughout, though the same cannot be said about his dancing skills. Santhanam, as usual, manages to evoke a few laughs though his portions do seem disjointed at times. Suhasini lends good support as the common friend of the lead pair.
Satish Chakravarthis music is pleasant. Velrajs cinematography adds a lot of richness to the film. Edwards art direction is big asset to the film. The styling and costumes also need a special mention.
Go without expectations and you are not likely to be majorly disappointed.