Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I had to write this after seeing Thavamai Thavamirundhu (TT). My hands had been waiting for this very moment...

Take Paheli on one hand okay...and now take TT on the other...just for comparison...

Paheli...A movie about how a ghost falls in love with a beautiful just-married woman and moves in with her disguised as her husband after her husband leaves town for business. The ghost reveals his true identity to her before they make love and she accepts him at the end of a song...The ghost and the lady live happily till the original returns. Now the ghost outsmarts the original and gets into his body and moves in to live with his lady love for ever...

Question: Let me know if this is silly...if the ghost could have entered and lived in the original's body...made him change his mind about his business trip...and then revealed his true identity...what are the chances the lady would have rejected him??? None. Remember she slept with him anyway...

Indian woman...a friend of mine told me that the movie is about Indian woman...We have portrayed a very good image about ourselves to the world by sending it as our Oscar Nominee...Forget Indian woman...think about the Indian-ness we portray...ghost turning into a man?!?! God...Where do I go and keep my face??? Already the West thinks that we still have snake charmers and ride elephants...now it is just another thing to add to their imagination...anyways I hope you all agree that it is a crappy movie...if you don't...I still stick with my opinion...that we send movies for Oscar Nominations to boost the ego of our already inflated superstars...and that Paheli is a very childish movie...

Now let us talk about Thavamai Thavamirundhu: Now...Cheran has already established himself as a good director-actor after his movies like Porkalam, Pandavar Bhoomi, Sollamarandhakadhai, Autograph, etc. But he just rises up another step in my eyes with this one. Simple story, simple acting, amazing casting, great movie...this is TT in one line.

The story is about father-son relationship...a very important subject but more than often neglected giving importance to the omnipresent mother sentiment in all Indian movies. Well Cheran has explored it with an excellent narrative that sort of reminds you of Autograph but thank god the similarity ends there. Two sons Ramanathan and Ramalingam both named after their grandfather are raised by Muthiah a humble press owner in a small town. Muthiah, only an eight grade dropout works very hard to give both his sons a good education.

Ramanathan, lands up at a polytechnic college owing to his bad grades while Ramalingam becomes an engineer. Ramanathan is married after his father discovers his sons overnight at a police station after being caught at a prostitution house. Ramanathan's wife brings nothing but misery to the family becoming the reason to split the father and son.

Ramalingam, is not a very model son either, he lies to his parents and takes money from his father to have fun with his friends at college. He falls in love with a girl in college and gets her pregnant too. And at a crunch time in the family he elopes with his girlfriend to take care of her secret pregnancy.

Throughout the first part of the movie we go see how the father struggles, begs and borrows to his give his sons the best possible life he count and the second half we see how he gets the stick end of the deal.

Ramalingam always guilty for having ditched his parents at the wrong time returns to his village to raise his family in the village. He then tries to unite his broken family and bring light to his parents darkened life. He makes a rosy bed for both his mother and father to rest their head in their last moments.

Attention to detail is amazing...like it was in Autograph. After Bharathiraja...Cheran is now the king of village subjects...I don't know if he makes commercial movies or art movies that become commercial...When I saw Sollamarandhakadhai, I did not know who the hero was but I appreciated his acting, and when I saw TT I appreciate it even more. He effectively conveys the emotions without too many unecessary information or histrionics. Everyone in the movie...I cannot pinpoint to just one person...has done a great job...forget it...I just do not have words to describe it...just watch the movie...

Coming back to the original discussion...See it and tell me...honestly...which one would you send for an Oscar Nominee?? Paheli or Thavamai Thavamirundhu? A movie that shows the Indian bond between parents and children or a movie on Ghosts...To me the choice is simple...

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