Write & Watch

Salesh Dipak Fernando

Tag: MANI RATNAM

14 DAYS OF LOVE – DAY 1 – MOUNA RAGAM

Mani – Ratnam and love go hand in hand. From Pagal Nilavu to Ok Kanmani he has consistently re-defined love in a million different ways. But there’s one film we all love to re-visit again and again – Mouna Ragam. 

The beauty and splendour of Mouna Ragam lies in how it deals with the conflicts that cage the human mind.  A marriage has to be a union of two souls, but more often than not when you enter into a forced marriage the uncertainty of having to share your space with a stranger in the dark leads to turmoil and chaos. Who is he?  How did I even end up like this?  Do I even deserve this?  Questions galore even as you yearn for a breathing space.

On the other side there is a partner who is eager and willing to wait it out. He’s prepared to wait it out but how long can he hold on. Will he able to hold long enough to welcome her into his life or will it be too late?

She adamantly holds on to the scars of her glorious past. Her past had a stranger too but he was different.  The stranger was one of life’s glorious uncertainties.  He showed her the splendour of love and pain of loss.  A loss which made her go back into a shell.  The free spirit is no longer visible.

Time flies and the tables turn.  He’s done waiting. Giving her the freedom that she desires and moving away seems like an easier option than having to spend the rest of his life with a soul that does not resonate. It’s time to take that final call. It’s time for a decision.

Time is a strange companion. Her world is different now as she discovers a soul yearning for love. The stranger who seemed like an invader has lit the flame of love yet again. He is no longer a stranger. He’s her man.  But he’s waiting with an ultimatum, an ultimatum which promises freedom. But she wants him. Nobody can free her spirit like he does.

The final moments with him, he’s walking away from what was meant to be. Dear destiny let him be mine. Why can’t he see through the illusion that blinds him? It’s a blunder.

Oh wait!  he‘s coming for me to hold my hands and promise me an eternal journey of love. Time does freeze at the right moments as the two souls merge into one even as Illayaraja’s magic takes over leading to a fitting finale.

 

 

 

 

OK KANMANI – TYPICAL MANIRATNAM ROM-COM

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After back to back box-office debacles Maniratnam returns to form with a typical urban rom-com with some top-notch performances and breathtaking cinematography.

OK Kanmani is a good example of how perfect casting can elevate an ordinary plot – A couple in a live-in relationship. The movie does begin on a right note but as the movie progresses the director decides to play it safe. A parallel relationship which throws subtle hints on how the movie is going to end.

Having been a fan of the director for a very long time I wish he had gambled instead of giving us the obvious conclusion. There’s a sense of deja-vu reminding us of the director’s earlier hit – Alaipayuthe. I just wish he had taken that all important risk.

Despite the flaws  O Kadhal Kanmani works because of the earnest performances. Dulquer Salmaan is impressive doing what he does best – An urban live wire with a zest for life. We have seen it all before and considering his success rate we might see again. Nithya Menen complements Dulqueer in every frame and lights up the screen with a natural performance.

The real stars of the film though were Prakash Raj and Leela Samson who play an ageing couple. Their relationship oozes depth and dignity  – A stark contrast to the fragile confused relationship of the other two leads. The best dialogues of the film actually goes to the Alzheimer affected Leela Samson.

Despite it’s flaws OK Kanmani is a worthy reminder of Mani Ratnam’s class. It is often quoted that Mani can even make a stone act and he proves it yet again by getting the best from an impressive cast. Kudos for giving a neat film with just 4 Characters.

ARR once again sets aside the best for his mentor. P.C Sreeram retains the trademark Mani tone throughout the film.

Oh Kadal Kanmani – A neat predictable fare with some earnest performances.

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