Monday, 10 October 2011

Engeyum Eppothum

2011 by Saravanan - Tamil movie

A friend of mine, a movie buff as much as myselves, is a typical Keralite in the fact that he looks down upon Tamil. He called me after the very first show of Indian Rupee, hailing the revival of Malayalam cinema with yet another great movie with a message and what not. He is interesting because he is typical of the average Malayaalee attitude towards Tamil cinema. He has seen each and every Malayalam movie but he would not do that with Tamil, inspite of boasting as a movie buff. Like most other Malayaalees, he has a specific criteria to decide which Tamil movie to watch. Either it has to be associated with Kamal haassan or Mani ratnam or it should be a Rajnikanth movie (obviously only to laugh and look down upon) or some of the big movies starred by Vijay or Surya, again to just insult these  hard core entertainers as stupid. And recently he has also included Gautham Menon to the list of Kamal and Ratnam. He would not have seen Aadukalam or Mirugam or Angaaditheru and many others if not for my insistence. And he has clear pre conceived notions about the quality of Tamil movies that he is happy to not watch them and still criticize them. And even when he watch  a movie like Aadukalam or Kalloori he simply only wants to nit pick or will say that all these Tamil new age directors are inspired by the 80's Malayalam. He is yet to watch Engeyum Eppodhum and I doubt he will. I had love to know his comments on this one though. I am sure he will be jealous. It is unbelievable that Tamil cinema manages to bring in new directors, one after another, who are all coming out with an incredibly brilliant debut. Saravanan, doesnt have a single dialogue in this movie about his message, but by the end of the movie the message is quite clear with immediate impact. Ranjith can take a point or two from this director on how to get a message across without lengthy dialogues.

One bus going from Trichy to Chennai and a second going from Chennai to Trichy crash each other.

India can top the list of countries infamous for rave driving. And the message in this movie is just that. But just showing an accident cannot make an Indian movie. So Saravanan creates four adorable characters and shows their moments prior to the bus ride, nicely entwined with the bus ride. The result is a nice love story of two couples, ending up on a fatal bus ride.

There are four brilliant characters here, Amudha and Gautham form one pair who met in Chennai. Manimegalai and Kadhiresan form the second pair who meets in Trichy. I cant help rave  about these characters, especially the female characters. Amudha is a typical Indian girl, naive and scared about strangers just like any small town girl arriving into a metro city. Manimegalai is what makes this movie very special. How did Indian cinema had the guts to portray such a female character. A really brilliant female role. I simply wish we will have more writers making characters like Manimegalai, that it can even prompt more ordinary girls to be bold and get out of their silly and helpless image. I salute the man behind this character. Absolutely brilliant and necessary. Some of her acts, like the blood test, is what our women should follow when they are thinking about finding a life partner. I sincerely hope, may be I am being naive here, more and more girls watch this movie and take a cue from Manimegalai rather than Amudha. Amudha is typical of our ordinary girls and this should be our past. Manimegalai should be our future.

The kind of simple and effective humour which accompanies the relationship of these couples is so refreshing and brilliant. If not for the occassional splashing of the accident scenes, we would completely forget that this movie is about a road accident. Yes, there is no surprise about these accident and what is going to happen with the hapless passengers. Inspite of that, it keeps us engaged is not a small feat.

At least some might find the emotional scenes a bit over board, but I am afraid it isnt. Tamil culture is overtly expressional and I found all those scenes quite allright. The director just stuck to the normal ways of his people, rather than making something to please the film festival audiences.

I sincerely salute the makers of this movie. A brilliant movie with a needy message. All the more the character of Manimegalai is definitely the need of the hour, when more and more girls are easily cheated in the modern day gadget world. Manimegalai is what our girl should emulate, rather than being naive like Amudha.

Excellent performances by the 4 leading actors, Jai, Sarva, Anjali and Ananya. Ananya gives us lots and lots of laughter in the beginning and the others too. But I would give my award for Anjali. Her 'I love you' is the best in dialogue delivery in the recent times, for me.

I am really really happy about this movie and wish everybody will watch it, especially our girls and women. Often movies and characters have a direct effect on the ways of our youth. I sincerely hope Manimegalai will influence our young girls.

Well, I cannot help think about Kalloori now. There is a strange similarity in both these movies is a glitch though. 

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