Directed By: Mani Ratnam
Written By: Mani Ratnam
Dulquer Salmaan – Aditya Varadarajan
Nithya Menen – Tara
Prakash Raj – Ganapathy
Leela Samson –Bhavani
Language: Tamil Genre: Romance; Drama
Mani Ratnam’s recent release O Kadhal Kanmani was slated to release on anniversary of his cult hit Alaipayuthey and uses that film as the framework for O K Kanmani. However, unlike Alaipayuthey, this film has a very simplistic storyline with no damaging twists and not much melodrama, making it a light-hearted and pleasant watch.
Aditya (Dulquer Salmaan) is a computer game developer and Tara (Nithya Menen), an architect. They meet at the train station (like Alaipayuthey) and through a series of meetings; they find a deep attraction for each other. They decide to live in together because their career ambitions will take them to the US and Paris respectively so why not spend the little time they have together?
Their relationship is paralleled with that of Ganapathy (Prakash Raj) and his wife Bhavani (Leela Samson), a carnatic singer. Ganapathy is Aditya’s brother’s ex-colleague at whose place he is staying as a paying guest. Bhavani is an Alzheimer’s patient and this becomes the focus of certain crisis situations. The relationship between Ganapathy and Bhavani is beautifully portrayed.
What you realise is that Mani Ratnam is trying to contrast new age relationships with that of an old fashioned romance, yet he is being neither didactic nor critical. It is a very accepting viewpoint that exposes the pitfalls of something like that in a traditional community.
The sound and visual track of the opening and ending credits are a part of the narrative of the film and give us an insight into the fast-paced and highly simulated & stimulated lives the current generation leads. They only want the thrill, especially the thrill of the chase. Once the prize is in the hand, they’ve lost interest – just like a game. In fact, the game seems to parallel Aditya’s life and his desires. And Tara is a then a character in his game – the prize.
It is also clear in that it explains that if the current generation is like this, no small part has been played in how the previous generation has been such as Tara’s parents who are divorced – her father an idealistic man who nevertheless was unable to take a stand for his daughter, and her mother who tries to make up by building an empire for her daughter, only in the process failing to have a relationship with her.
However, it does beg the question, is the major crisis of the present generation – commitment?
Watch the film for the splendid performances and the warm chemistry between the principal actors; the cinematography and obviously A.R. Rahman’s music. Also a special mention for the animation in the film, it is really quite interesting.