Cast: Arya, Amy Jackson, Nassar
Music: G.V. Prakash Kumar
As soon as I saw this movie I called home to talk to my parents, who had actually lived in Madras around the time this story was set. Yes, my parents are that old and yes my father remembered a lot of things from his childhood. I asked them if there were really trams in Chennai, if people really rode on boats over our esteemed Coovum, if there was any significant freedom struggle in Chennai, and father had answers for all of them. We had an hour long conversation at least. It was fun, to see Chennai through their eyes. With just that the movie had already won my heart.
Now coming to the movie itself, it has a very Titanic touch, and a sort of Lagaan-ish feeling. More Titanic though, by the way the movie drifts from present to past and back, seamlessly. While I felt it had semblance to Lagaan only because of Parithi's (Arya's) attire and the small fight sequence. Other than that, this movie was on its own. The songs, the sets, the language, everything had a very good period touch and we all know how difficult it is to make Period movies and make them not look and feel anachronistic as well as fake.
Old Amy Wilkinson (Carole Trungmar) old, ill, and fragile comes to Chennai with her grand daughter in search of Parithi. As she gets off the airplane in Chennai airport, scenes from the past and present intermingle. She is looking for her lost love, Parithi in a city that houses millions today. All she carries with him is an old photograph and memories from days gone by.
Young Amy (Amy Jackson), had lived in Chennai with her father, the erstwhile Governor of Chennai during the last days of British Raj. She is betrothed to marry the Police Commissioner as arranged by her parents but she falls in love with the young, rustic, and brave Parithi. Her fiance and her family show strong objection to the affection Parithi and Amy show for each other and try their best to break up the relationship. Just before Amy is shipped back to England along with the rest of the English, Parithi gives her his mother's Thaali that she wants to return it back to him or his family. And the search continues in Chennai.
Will she find him? For that watch the movie.
I loved Arya's acting, though at times he played too much of an angry-young-man he still carried off the movie brilliantly. His attire made me wonder why the director had to give him a look similar to Aamir in Lagaan. Amy, acted very well too. She is pretty and she suited the role aptly. Even the old Amy for that matter fit perfectly into the role. One thing I loved about the movie was that the Brits spoke in English and did not get a voice over in Tamil through most of the movie. Maybe, a first in Tamil cinema. It was impressively done. Also the comedy track in the movie is subtle but consistent making sure that the mood is not somber even in some serious situations.
Every generation will enjoy this movie, it has all the drama, action, love, mother sentiment, and love-opposition, as required by Indian movies but blended in smoothly into the story. It is not overdone and it shows Chennai in its Glamor and beauty in its hey day, of which we have just heard of. There are even shots of the old Spencer's Plaza that burnt down and Coovum actually looking like a river and not a sewage canal. I really enjoyed watching this movie.
Let me know what you thought about the movie!