O Kadhal Kanmani!!

I know I am not qualified to talk about any Madras talkies productions and romance genre being my not-so-favourite kind of genre adds to my under-qualified state. But being a devout fan of mani ratnam, I guess I can share the joy of  watching OK Kanmani. It was fresh, ‘kothamalli fresh”. Yes, we all know that it was heading for a very happy ending, a little cliched, its Mani sir’s movie after all. But the journey to the happy ending was nothing short of greatness. I drove back home with a big smile plastered on my face, reliving the movie in my mind, again and again. There was this right mix of Naughty-cute love, maybe because of Adi and Tara, maybe because of ARR, or maybe because its Mani Ratnam. Everyone were perfect.

I have always felt Mani ratnam’s heroines, overacted a teeny bit more in most of his movies. If Nitya Menen had over acted , it was drowned in ARR’s magic. I can still here the bgm in my head. It may not be ARR’s magnum opus, but it was perfect. Every song was at the right place and the right time. The songs on its own were great and after seeing its visualisation, all I am able to  do is let out a longggggggg sigh. Hmppppppppppppppffffffff.  If only………

PC Sreeram has done justice to ARR’s bgm and Mani ratnam’s story or vice versa.  The first scene with the train approaching reminded me of “Raja..Rajathi Raja” song and alaipayudhey at the same time. The screenplay waS better than ever, clever delightful and short,  Not too short like the usual, “yaru… surya…enga…marketla..en.. deva”  but more of “numbers ellam correct a thane calculate paninom; unna mari oru payyanoda naan thanginen a nallavala irupena??; kalyanam panaporeengala? iyoo ila” Direct, for those who understood it.

I have so much in my mind and so little words to write. First half of the movie was peppy and cute and bang on and the second half draws you in with more love and thankfully it is not overly sweet as to leave a bad taste in your mouth!! I have to mention Prakash raj and Leela, the definite role model kind of couple and mani ratnam did not complicate it by throwing in some children for them. It was perfect the way it was. Prakash raj(Ganapathy)-Leela(Bhavani) reminded me of the old couple in the movie pudhu pudhu arthangal. Dulquer and Nitya menen complimented each other and it was not a surprise there. Dulquer is a natural.All those who have seen his malyalam movies know what I am talking about. And nitya menen was adorable and  her performance was brilliant. Never moved up or down the scale.

Small cast and great “qualified” acting by each and every one of them.

Mani ratnam-PC sreeram-ARR is a deadly combination. Fatal to a fault that they blow your minds to pieces.  The movie is beautiful and perfect.  I should definitely find synonyms to perfect, because its becoming a little too repetitive. Here goes, faultless, flawless, seamless, unspoiled, picture perfect, just right

This movie gave me the same feeling as one gets when one smells freshly brewed coffee on a cold misty morning.

OK Kanmani- every element in a mani ratnam movie and some more. Thank you for giving us this much after a really long time. I definitely needed a movie like this and I still can’t stop smiling 🙂

Over and out!

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Love and the lack of it

In this era, we see giant leaps in technological, scientific and economic developments. One can also see progressive change in terms of culture. I would like to emphasize on the cultural changes that I have witnessed in my 20 something years. I come from a family that strongly believes in marriage and companionship even in the most dire circumstances.Being in India, it is not news for people to stay together for 40+ years. As far as I remember none of the daada-daadis I know have broken up because they had differences between them. They TRIED, way harder than we can ever imagine. Even the love stories back then, be it in the movies or in real life were stronger than what we see today. No one threw away things that were broken, they tried to fix it.

So what happened now? I see people break up, as quickly as they got into it.Being in a relationship is a craze now. saying, “I have a girlfriend/boyfriend” , has become the in-thing and it starts right from the teenage years.  But us, Indians, are in a very delicate position. We cannot completely embrace the western culture, nor can we not do without it. We are like those cats on a wall, which has no idea which way it wants to jump

In the western culture, you ‘propose’ marriage not love. And it is fine for them to be in a relationship and not be in love. Can we relate to that. No. For us, relationship means love. So then do we take it till death do us part. No. That is also not possible. Again in western culture, being in a  “relationship” is never a problem. The way they define relationship is a lot different from what we define relationship. Are the men and women in India fine with having one too many sexual partners. A definite no. We are scared about what “society” talks. the “society” will talk if you are open about your relationships and you will always have to be the model citizen. A little deflection and you are doomed for life and the “society” will keep the gossip mill running forever.

So how does “being in love” work here?

1. We need love, in other words, we need the independence to choose our own life partners. If one needs that kind of independence, then he/she should not care about what the parents think, get married, be happy or not be happy. Live together forever or divorce. Whatever you decide to do with your life you can do, irrespective of what anyone else thinks because it is your life and your decisions.But we never follow this chains of events. “fall in love”, make the parents says yes, if they say no, leave the guy/gal. Is this love??

2. Rush into the first girl you meet in school/college/office/coffeeshop. Pronounce your undying love. Date for a few months and then figure you love is obviously dead. Break up.And one of them ends up miserable. Why pronounce something if you yourself is not sure of it?

Being in a relationship is much much different than being in love. I believe that love, conditional or unconditional definitely exists and its improper usage is unfortunate. I hope in the years to come people go back and know themselves before they jump into relationship and love. Figure out what they want and fight for what they believe and to never justify their stupidity.  Getting influenced by the western society is not a bad thing. But one must know when it should stop and where we should draw the line. We are a country rich in cultural heritage and  when people from other countries are awed by our way of living we must make sure we do not forget our roots in the western frenzy.

Being a feminist I definitely believe no one should put up with shit. The magnitude of the problems should be weighed before running away without a fight. Every problem has a solution in its back and at this day and age we should start learning how to fix the problems than just throw it all away. I would like to quote something here that inspired me to write this post, “No one falls  in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work and no one falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.”

Over and out

Pranayam

Pranayam means “Love” . I am not going to speak about my love life or the lack of it or anyone else’s for that matter. This is about a movie, “pranayam”. Roughly around a year and a half a friend suggested me this movie. Since he had only praise for the director and the movie and the way he went on and on about it, I downloaded it immediately.  I can understand a bit of malayalam, not entirely. So I downloaded its subtitles as well. I started watching and the subtitles did not sync. I got pretty annoyed because so much of emotion was there in the script, I mean one can literally sense it and I was not able to follow it word by word. So I stopped watching it abruptly.  And eventually forgot about this movie. Today, for some reason I watched it from where i left off without the subtitle of course.

The movie is a beautiful love story of three people who are well past their prime.One immediately tends to think its a love triangle, not quite so. Most Indian cinema does not experiment with old age love story. For some reason they tend to shy away about the love life of old people. It has always been the privilege of the young to be in love and of course anything sexual on screen of old couple has mostly been shunned or considered lewd. This movie has a different kind of perspective. The kind of matured love. The protagonist has a successful and a much fulfilled marriage, meeting her first love (in this case the ex-husband) brings back memories from her past which she remembers with pleasure. That kind of guilt free, unashamed love is rare to find in movies these days. The over flow of emotions and the cinematography and the entire mood that it captured was beautiful.I have only words of praise for this movie. Zilch vulgarity. No detailed flashback to go to. He kept it simple, all the while explaining to us that love is just not about physical attraction and breaking the age barrier of love without apprehension

Mohanlal, (as mathews ) had a great role, the best in the movie I must say (or maybe I like him a lot and I am biased) and he could have easily overplayed it. He kept it down and perfect balanced his role. Being paralyzed and also being a professor in philosophy, the director has given him superb lines. The way he is supportive of his wife,  the way he understands her and comforts her, it definitely makes me jealous (every girl deserves a guy like that). Thinking about it, I feel its the kind of comfort and understanding that he gives her, that makes her tell everything she feels, to him. It is that sort of a relationship one yearns for as time rolls by.

The first half of the movie explains about her relationship with her family and husband and the way she feels meeting her ex-husband by chance and he ends up in the hospital with a heart attack (of all the time, he can have a heart attack, he chose then) The second half is when mathews, grace and achu form a sort of friendship which is looked dirty and the neighborhood and grace’s own daughter finds it obscene and distasteful. Mathews helps her again by being her support system. The end, however, I expected. It was a typical malyalam movie, were a negative ending is as much appreciated as a happy ending (That is one thing I really like about the early mallu movies)

I loved a lot of scenes, made me cry. I am just giving one example here, throwing a stone, anupam kher (the ex husband) says the second stone always reaches much farther than the first, because one tries a lot harder the second time. Probably, my writing is not as emotional as how they say it. But few scenes like this spoke volumes of their underlying relationship and what it meant to each one of them. And after so many years I cried for a movie.Bawled my eyes out.

P.S For all my friends who think I cannot appreciate love stories and do not have a romantic side, please know that I do too conditionally. Movies like this are the love stories one should appreciate and feel good about. Not the other kind of cliched love story. No I have never liked them and never will.

Pranayam-Malayalam-Movie