After Arindhum Ariyamalum, Navdeep is out with Ilavattam. Primarily a Tamil dubbing of a Telugu movie, the film has few scenes re-shot in Tamil. Director Raja Rajah has taken a storyline that would suit Telugu audience. But he has tried his best to give a different color to the Tamil version.
Navdeep appears the central character in the movie. He has enough scope to perform, which he seems to have utilized well. Debutant Sheela is impressive. With good features and decent acting skills, the actress has enough potential to make it big. Otherwise the rest of the actors and actresses including Suhasini, Vijayakumar and Prithviraj (making a comeback after a long gap from silver screen) do what is expected of them.
The movie begins with Srinivas (Navdeep) getting the university medal for topping in academics. While accepting the award, he informs everyone that he was a life-convict serving a term in prison. In a flashback, he narrates his part to the August gathering.
Srinivas belongs to an ordinary middle class family. Bright in academics, he comes across Lakshmi (Sheela) in his school. Lakhsmi is the daughter of rich landlord (Vijayakumar) in the village. After initial misunderstandings, both fall for each other.
Enters Sethupathy (Prithviraj), Lakshmi's uncle. The sequence of events after this eventually lands Srinivas in prison. Out of grit and determination, he pursues his studies from prison and passes out in flying colors.
The climax is whether he manages to join hands with Lakshmi or not.
Navdeep is energetic and gives a good account of himself as a student, lover and as a man out to prove his worth. There is spontaneity to his work. Sheela is cherubic and fills her character with ease and elegance. Vijaykumar and Prithiviraj go through their work with typical efficiency.
Mani Sharma has come up with some peppy tunes that evoke some interest.
Selva R has handled cinematography while editing is by Raja Muhammad.
Raja Rajah has been a tad afraid to experiment. He has kept himself to well-stated positions and has tried to operate from within that.
He has done justice to what he has attempted. But he has not done anything novel.