Boy meets girl and they fall in love. They encounter troubles, overcome all odds and finally hold hands. This is what a romantic story means in Tamil cinema. Debutant filmmaker Andrew Louis has consciously chosen to deviate from this cliched path to render a rom-com that is interesting and entertaining. Filmmakers today take a wafer-thin storyline, lace it up with quick unfolding of events and load with comedy to make it count. 'Leelai' is exactly a similar attempt. But Andrew Louis has made the movie sophisticated and the romance is narrated in an interesting manner.
With a host of new faces (Shiv Pandit and Mansi play the lead roles), 'Leelai' begins as a campus crackle and takes twists and turns to hold our attention but ends in an pleasant manner. When things seems to go slow, enters Santhanam and the pace takes the top gear. No prizes for guessing as Santhanam plays hero's friend.
Karthik (Shiv Pandit) is a happy-go-fun-loving youngster. He loves to lure women. He loves developing a crush on them. In the same college studies Malar (Mansi). They cross each other and hot air blows between them. Obviously they develop hatred towards each other.
Days go by and they pass out of college to end up with a job in a software firm. Malar works in the HR department. Karthik avoids any contact with Malar. But fate has other plans. Seeing her once, Karthik's heart go beating and his idea about life changes. He decides to woo her. But troubles start there. Did all end well for the couple? Wait for the climax then.
Shiv Pandit as Karthik is cool, casual and bubbly. He has put in sincere efforts and identifies himself with the character. Mansi is no far behind. She is vivacious and nice. She plays her role with dignity and delight. The chemistry between the lead pair is the movie's strength.
Santhanam as usual sizzles with his comedy. His one-liners, wits and punches evoke applause. A feel-good entertainer, 'Leelai' is colourful and convincing.
Thanks to splendid work by Velraj behind the lens, the movie has a great look. His wide lens captures the campus scenes well. Sathish Chakravarthy's music is nice. The songs are catchy with Western influence. Saravanan's editing could have been crisp at least towards the latter part.
Forget logical lapses or the lengthy second half, 'Leelai' is a nice film that will stay in your hearts for some time. If the director's target is city audience, he has succeeded in his mission, we would say.