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18 April, 2015

O Kadhal Kanmani. A comeback?

O Kadhal Kanmani. 

Definitely a comeback. OK Kanmani review:

Mani Rathnam has managed to weave magic into a single word. 'Kanmani'. I will never be able to read or hear the word Kanmani and not see the love I saw in Dulquer's eyes when he sees Nithya. Or should I say, Adi sees Tara.
In this review, I'll stick to the screenplay that was given in the film as it was decent. The way the story is told makes all the difference and it has been justified. The game theme for the credits does give excitement for a gamer. With ARR's blissful music.

For those who don't have the patience to read the whole review skip to the parts that are highlighted.

The journey starts off with the train coming to a stop at the Mumbai station. When the tall and handsome hunk swears at a 5 something footer in Tamil. Yes. You heard that right. Tara is clearly angry with someone and decides to jump in front of a train on the other side of the station, but somehow changes her mind and walks off when Adi swears at her in Tamil. Little did they know that this wasn't the first time she was going to run away from him.
Adi is then whisked away to the house he will from now on be a paying guest to by his friends, Mr. Ganapathy's house. He meets the strict and No nonsense 60 year old Ganapathy beautifully portrayed by Prakash Raj and Mrs. Bhavani Ganapathy,  from now on fondly called as Bhavani aunty who suffers from Alzheimer's.
He then starts off with his life at Mumbai. The base story of Mumbai 2.0, his brainchild and is given 6 weeks to make his dream into a project. One of his friend's Ananya played by popular VJ Ramya gets married at a church and that's when Adi officially meets Tara. They begin to converse in sign language initially and number gets exchanged. A small phone conversation takes place where the fact that both of them don't want marriage in their cards gets established. Everything goes well and Tara makes a call to Adi and they fix a date for coffee,or maybe? Tara manages to get into her dream project,to work with her idol and forgets all about the coffee, and rushes to meet him, but oh wait. He is waiting down. You'll see a lot of running by Tara. This is just the beginning. When on a date with Adi she sees her ex and tells the reason for her breakup. Money and her ex's hunger for her money, and at the right time ARR's magic is in the air, Mental manadhil where they roam the streets of the city and slowly fall in love and so do we.

P.C Sreeram's camera work, especially in this song is very commendable. Tara tells Adi about her trip to Ahmedabad with her idol. When having a light hearted conversation with Mr. Ganapathy about how he got married to Bhavani aunty. Mr. Ganapathy says life doesn't give second chances. No guesses as to what happens next. Clich√® move Mr. Mani. Adi catches the train and the way Tara gets angry but doesn't show her anger before her friends but blushes speaks volumes about her acting abilities and the way she makes us fall in love with her. I cannot be a judge of how good Mr. Mani can capture his train scenes.
Now comes the breathtaking shots by P.C Sreeram that gives a new dimension to viewing cinema. With Maula playing in the background and Rahman's son's soulful voice taking it to a whole new level leaves it echoing in our ears and etched in our minds. There are no words to describe his work while covering the sculptures and the designs of architecture. Each shot is breathtaking. A lot is shared between the couple there and the happy go lucky Adi makes us swoon with his subtle humour, " Who that fellow?" and his slight jealously. The real reason behind why Tara strongly believes against the idea of marriage is revealed when she talks about her parent's divorce. She realises they would miss the train and as she rightly contemplated they do. They get accommodated into a lodge for the night. The song, Parandhu sellava rendered beautifully by Sasha thirupati and Karthik gives us the chills and the visuals are as usual. Magic. The song which is captured majorly on the Loopy app is not something that leaves our minds easily. They are beginning to fall in love although nothing is said.
Adi drops her back safely to her hostel and there Tara meets her relatives and her mother who questions her as to where she was. The tension in the relationship between the mother and daughter is then revealed. Nithya hints that she would get a scholarship to further study at Paris. For which her mother bullshits her and asks her to take care of their "factory,estates and business" at Coimbatore. Wow are they rich or what?
Tara escapes her mother ( see again with the running) to work and when she is mocked by her friends as to who her special one was, she runs away only to be swept off her feet by Adi. They can't get enough of each other can they? The scene that comes now is absolutely heart melting where Adi cannot seem to have enough of her in the ride back in the bus. Where he says go away now or I'll have you forever. Soon everything gets out of hand, or they go according to the plan, depending on how you see it and they make love, which Mani sir beautifully captures by the shadows and the steam and rain. Typical again. ARR's brilliance is can be felt here with Naane varugiren. Absolutely mind blowing. The next thing is a total surprise. Tara is at Mr. Ganapathy's house and Adi asks him if she could be a paying guest to which the obvious reaction was as expected. But Bhavani aunty oh so cutely says Mr. Ganapathy is old fashioned, it maybe the Alzheimer's speaking. Either way, she is too cute to handle. Adi tries convincing Mr. Ganapathy. Meanwhile Tara begins to sing, Malar ketaen, finally ARR and Chithra coming together, what a wonderful treat to the ears, the age on Bhavani aunty's face visibly vanishes when that happens and Mr. Ganapathy is definitely impressed, the love in his eyes is the highlight in the whole film, something in the back of our head says he is seeing his 19 year old Bhavani singing. I really must mention the way Prakash Raj had managed to emote through his eyes. MIND =BLOWN.  However Nithya Menon's lipsyncing for the song was horrible right here.
The shift begins where Mr. Ganapathy sees shockingly, because he didn't exactly approve of it. But he later on begins to live with it. Soon comes Vasu, Adi's elder brother who has come with his family to Mumbai. He calls and asks for the address and Tara very cutely asks Adi couldn't he have given the wrong address and said 2nd floor, she would get 5 more minutes of sleep. Typical human, we need our sleep! The way Adi begs her to get up and leave is absolutely love filled. You know the usual, kanne, maniye, kothamali? His sister in law snoops around the room and bathroom and compares it to how her husband keeps his room. Tara meanwhile manages to hide her stuff and get away through the window and behind the house keeper but Adi's niece does see her and the tiny romance between the couple, which brings smiles to our faces and an end to the first half.

Mumbai 2.0 prototype is done and the main character is riding the yellow vespa, by Adi and his niece. Tara enters the room and the character looses his life in the game. A nice apt "you are dead" appears. When questioned as to who she is Adi says she is Ganapathy uncle's sister's daughter and she too stays here. Soon Tara tries to go out ( again with the running) of the house. It's time for Adi's brother's family to leave and Adi's sister in law calls Tara aside and questions her regarding the stuff she found in Adi's room. Tara accepts and she is told to either marry Adi or leave his life. Meanwhile Adi's brother asks Mr. Ganapathy to give Tara's hand in marriage to Adi. Adi and Tara travel in the train where she informs him of what his sister in law had said. She takes him to the gynaecological side of a hospital and leads him to think she is pregnant but later reveals she was simply playing the fool and it was just the architectural plan for the hospital. This shows the other side to a live in relationship.
It's late in the night and she is pondering when Mr. Ganapathy sees her and questions her as to what is running in her mind. She says she is about to get the scholarship and he understands that she isn't willing to let go off Adi. She wants both. Don't we all? Committment phobia right there. So relatable.
She dramatically enters her room and packs her things. Adi is puzzled but she laughs and says she is heading to Jaipur for a project. Aye Sinamika. Karthik's voice, what more do I need to say? It gives the alaipayuthey Dejavu, because of the shots. The choreographer, Brinda's work is absolutely spot on. Tara returns and Adi is missing. He hasn't been found for two days and Adi calls. Tara RUNS according to his instruction and to go to a somewhat posh restaurant because she can't shout and create a scene. He says Tara's mom sent a private jet and showed him their estate and that he was at Coimbatore. She is angry and signifies that this was their first fight and captured it in her mobile and says she will upload it and let the world know. Adi follows her and it starts to rain. Tara keeps walking but suddenly stops and  starts to smile. She can't get angry at him can she? She starts to pray in a temple nearby and Adi sees Bhavani aunty there. She couldn't find her way back and she was stuck they take her to the hospital. The way Ganapathy takes care of Bhavani aunty is impeccable and incomparable. Adi and Tara have this running on their minds and is clearly shown. Meanwhile in Chennai Tara's mother has gone to Adi's house and his brother angrily skype calls him and asks him to check for the cheapest flight from Mumbai to Chennai immediately. Typical middle class mindset. Mr. Ganapathy convinces Adi's brother saying Tara is a great child and Adi is very lucky. Adi is excited to show his fully developed game Mumbai 2.0 whereas his office surprises him and he is offered to go to the US. Tara is happy for him but the hurt she feels inside is shown on her face. They make a pact that for the next 10 days there will be no crying, no fights no sleep and only happiness. AR Rahman's brilliance and his uniqueness can easily be felt in his rendering of Theera Ulla along with Nikitha Gandhi. They do all the things they love. All is well for 2 days , but the love for the other hurts them too badly and they are afraid that the other doesn't love them. When asked about his inner feelings Adi jokingly says he would love a bread omelette. That's every one's inner feelings. They keep fighting and Tara cries because she isn't able to digest the fact that it is ending. This is when all hell broke loose and aunt goes missing again. This part, was by far the most moving as well as the most dragging part of the movie. They search for aunty and the love within each other where Adi says he will take care of her like Ganapathy uncle and asks her to marry him, go wherever she wants, but marry him and go. For which before she could react she runs ( India's gold medalist by now) and finds aunty. We aren't really sure when the couple fell in love but being with the Ganapathys, it would be hard not to. The love that is shared between those two is actually sometimes better than the actual love story that we mainly focus on. Again when Adi asks her to marry him she agrees and their dream wedding takes place. The game version shows what happens next and all is well.



For those thinking it isn't a family audience type of a movie, maybe not. It depends on your family. I went with my father, and I loved it. For those who haven't felt love, you'll definitely yearn for it. For those who have been in love or in love, it's a cult and easily relatable. It won't be a big surprise if someone sues saying it's their story. Because it is after all an ordinary story with Mani Rathnam's as well as PC's and ARR's magic woven together. This equation cannot go wrong. The negatives of the movie: Could have been a little fast paced, the searching for Bhavani aunty during climax could have been a little lesser. There isn't much scope for actors other than the 4 main characters. There maybe an overdose of romance for some. However rather than getting married, and being contradictory to the actual thought, they could have gone ahead with the long distance relationship. It does work for people, right? Definitely if someone were really in love as it was in the movie.  I'm nitpicking here. I would have personally preferred to know more about Ganapathy uncle and Bhavani aunty's story, the kind of warmth that relationship shared was sizzling to see on the screen. The movie is a brilliant work of art and a must watch. If Alaipayuthey was to be taken according to the current generation,  then it would be OKK. 

As far as the background score is concerned,  need I even say anything. Dubbing was proper and editing was complete. The fact that most of the film was taken in sound proof places and that most of it did not require dubbing is much appreciated. However the part where Adi goes missing could have been more clear with regards to the plot.

This isn't a typical Tamil movie. It isn't for the conservative Tamil folk. The times are changing and so is cinema. Kudos to Nithya Menon's costume designer, the costumes were brilliant and made it hard for the viewers not to notice. Dulquer has given a good performance, it is hard not to compare Alaipayuthey to this and when I do, I'm still on team Maddy. He does however have the Mamooty touch. He has done justice to his character.
Nithya Menon's portrayal of the cute Tara according to me is spot on. Her ability to change her expression within seconds speaks volumes about her acting abilities. Prakash Raj's acting abilities can never be questioned, that man has been a highly underrated actor and he has shown once again he can pull off any role with ease. His ability to emote dialogues without uttering them moves the soul.  Leela Samson's work as Bhavani aunty sure needs a mention. She is childlike and portrays the character in a brilliant way.

Overall a great experience and definitely worth the 120. 

Oh yes, Mrs. Suhasini Manirathnam. Anyone who has access to a mouse and a keyboard,  can write a review. We don't need no education.
Rating: 8.75 /10

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