Friday, April 17, 2015

O Kadhal Kanmani - A visual treat for the soul

O Kadhal Kanmani is a romantic feel-good movie that makes one love film making. Maniratnam has handled with deft and caution a variety of subjects in the past - sentiment, violence, melancholy, suspense - and has pushed us into realms of ecstasy or plunged us into horizons of disappointment. But his handling of romance has always brought out the lover in him and the Romeo in us. If one thought it has been in decline, rest assured, for he has rediscovered his mojo in this film. The way he has managed to weave the effect of cupid in threads of practicality, wearing it on the sleeve of time so the story is in sync with its period of enactment, adds an adorning accouterment to his wardrobe of amazing movie productions.

Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menon have enacted a beautiful show of onscreen chemistry that is the crux of romantic film making. There is no restraint, only plenty of love sans inhibition. A typical Maniratnam's heroine, Tara is impulsive and bubbling with enthusiasm. She lives life on its merit, a positive budding architect in urban India with a modern outlook and a set agenda. Capable of taking her decisions and equipped with an extroverted attitude, she is living a high life. Adithya is a video game developer just stepping into the shoes of a big time career and is staring at a rich life ahead. Both want a happy-go-lucky independent future, free of commitments and filled with fun. They fall for each other from the first look - hook, line and sinker. What follows is a harmonious story outlining the discovery of self and togetherness, filled with contentment and beatitude, told with ebullience.

Dulquer comes across as a handsome hero with an enchanting personality. Nithya is shown at her best from scintillating camera angles, her smiles beaming across the big screen and sinking into the hearts of the audience. She owes a lot to the superabundant cinematographic capabilities of P.C. Sreeram, the master of capturing the quintessence of free-flowing young love. At the same time, he miraculously succeeds in attributing a practical next-door feeling about her, shackles unbound. The charming screenplay is well supported by a brilliant background score from his holiness AR Rehman, the tunes becoming instantaneously addictive.

Maniratnam has ventured into the controversial concept of live-in relationships that are yet nascent even to the urban society of India. The facileness with which the house owners, an aged couple (Prakash Raj and Leela Samson) consent to the request is quite unreasonable, but it is in the world of movies after all. And it also later serves the purpose of demonstrating the stability that marriage renders, especially when two grow old together. There is also no screen space to reveal the shock or unpleasantness that sets in when two different people (even in love) start living together, and the resulting friction. But that is in keeping with the theme of the movie - to provide a light weight pragmatic love story. While many may not yet appreciate or even comprehend this freedom two adults have, one cannot still shy away from acknowledging the passion that transcends two souls, pushing them towards one destiny.

The movie flows like a cool breeze picked up over the freshness of the morning mist. There will only be two kinds of reactions to the film - satisfaction and bliss for those who connect with the story, or a plain ordinary platitude for those who don't. But there is no denying that it is a peek into the great man's vintage self, his potential of perceiving the science of subliminal passion and transforming that into a work of art that appeals to all. In O Kadhal Kanmani, Maniratnam has created no Alaipayuthey or Mouna Ragam, but it is a wonderful attempt at romantic positivity. It guarantees a hangover of happiness.


Blogger Emmanuel said...

God bless you!

12:59 PM  

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