Saturday, May 28, 2005

A very late review

[ctsy - rMadhavan ]

A very nice chat with Iyengar today morning, brought fresh memories of Alaipayuthey.

The discussion was about Shankar's strategy of telling messages through his movies. So far, as i have seen (and not seen), Gentlemen - Indian - Mudhalvan - Anniyan, all of 'em talks only of corruption. And i dont see any message to take home. But on the contrary, Maniratnam gave me a message to take home, even though it was irrelevant to me in Alaipayuthey. Anbe Sivam touched my life, that i adopted a few qualities (or atleast tried to).

Talking of Alaipayuthey, a movie every youngster in Tamilnadu enjoyed, rejoiced and thought they were gifted with Yet another classic Love story. But Alaipayuthey was more to it. It was a complete Love story, I would say, Complete in all its senses. Most of the Love stories end up showing the Happy Lovers rejoining after a Calamity to the Villain. Alaipayuthey starts there.

Karthik and Shakti have got married, even before you realize. They were in Love, and never even tried to understand each other (much like reality). Maniratnam shows an Ad-Hoc Love, and is not stressed to show the purity of Love between them, as is not. Both of them, have the support of their friends/ sister and with that dirty courage they get married, without informing their parents. After incidents, they move to a separate residence, where they begin a Husband-Wife life. Pretty incidents throw Mis-understanding in between them. It is common in a married life, yet, in a Love-marriage mis-understandings are commonly interpreted as Disappointments.

Shakti has tons of disappointments, and Karthik is depressed by the quarrels. What seemed to have been a Beautiful Romantic life, is all of a sudden a Quarrelsome affair. Thats when Mani takes over. "Enough guys, enough seeing a peppy love story, listen to what i have to say about your life. What you need in a married life. ". A state-of-the-art accident scene, and Shakti is in hospital. And Maniratnam sends his messengers into the playground. Arvindswamy and Kushboo.

I would reccomend you to watch those scenes. Mani understands when to use technology. He uses Slowmotion Freeze frames, in those climax scenes, unlike using them for showing Fingers of Heroes in their introduction scenes. He does that to impose- super impose his message.

The care and understanding, and most of all Back-support at critical times, is what is important in any relationship. When you Yell or back fire the person for committing a mistake, for which the person is already feeling bad about, the person becomes aloof. He/she doesnt have support when he needs it.

A relationship, in generic terms, should make you feel cozy. Make you feel comfortable. You are never alone. Even when somethings wrong, it gives you courage, that you will face it together. Mutual understanding, care and support are key factors of any relationship. Thats what Karthik and Shakti missed in-between them. And thats precisely the message of the movie, if you did not get it from theatres.

Katz ! If you are still not convinced, let me know.


iyengarkatz said...


i remain firm on still being unconvinced! ;-) love stories don't need a message for anyone who watches the movies will pick up on the mistakes while watching the movie. the message that shankar wants to send is more important because that is a message he should not have to send but being de-sensitised to the world around us, we have accepted it as a normal part of life instead of opposing it. like indian thatha says to nizhalgal ravi when he tries to bribe him, "neengal ellam thirindave maatengada!" whereas in alaipayudhey, the scenes themselves help us realize that being in love is different than being married. you don't need arvind swamy to tell us. a beautiful scene that highlights that was when madhavan waits impatiently for shalini at his house door and cribs when she walks in. she will ask why is he impatient when he was willing to wait for hours before and he will say that was before when i was wooing you or when i was in love or something like that.

the message mani rathnam tells us at the end of that movie is redundant, for i am sure even the character would have realized it having almost lost his love forever. but the message shankar says is relevant for no matter how many times it is said, it cannot become redundant. just like when your mother says, "paarthu exam-ai yezhudhu!" ;-)


keerthi said...

cmon Katz, Redundant and Shankar are ananymous (and redundant again..). If shankar always wanted to talk of a sensible movie, he always goes out and says "Corruption ! Corruption ! Its everywehere... we have to bring it down and nail it." Can we do it. Of course, not. Im talking of things that we take home. That are simple.

People get out of a Shankar movie, and i have heard most of them say "Huh ! A single man cannot do it. And no one can stop corruption". We know no one can stop corruption, on practical grounds. It has to saturate by itself. Why talk of it, again and again. Well, one reason could be Shankar easily gets to spin a story against a single guy, make him innocent, then make him strong, and then make him a mass Hero, that the public start praising characters (i mean within the movie).. Crowd gathering at Velu Nayakkar's case is acceptable, but Crowd at Gentleman's court scene is impractical. No justice done.

Jacky said...

Shankar's attitude is much like MR of early days – when he made AgniNatshatram, Dalpathi, Geethanjali, Idhya Kovil. You didn't take anything home after watching them. They were just Masala flicks. Shankar still has time.

Regarding Alaipayuthe – It was easy for MR to use a semi-catastrophic accident to make Madhavan repent his mistakes. A real-life portrayal suddenly took a u-turn and became Cinematic. Compare this with the poetic as well as realistic Mouna Ragam climax. So, AP was 90% real and 10% reel.