The joy of having intelligent neighbours
Kamal Hasan’s new mega project took me back to my childhood when the fulfilling movie experiences were mostly those dubbed from Tamil, not been so lately. The nights I’ve seen Sathyame Sivam (Anbe Sivam) and Abhay (Alavandhan) will forever stay with me. The psychedelic sense of Abhay was too new to make any sense of on the first watch. And like all path breaking films the film got enhanced in the head as days passed and when I’ve seen it again it seemed too good to be true, too good to be Indian (South).
In New York the film opens to the lives of Viswanath (a classical dance teacher) and Nirupama (a PhD in radio oncology). The marriage was an arranged one, there was never much love involved and her rich young boss hitting on her are Nirupama’s issues at the shrink. A detective Nirupama hires to spy on her husband is killed in an accidental encounter with a warehouse employee. This unintended murder sets things in motion and the couple are brought to the warehouse. The warehouse is a Jihadi station and soon Omar (A jihadi chief played by Rahul Bose) is on his way to meet this nobody dance teacher.
Who is Viswa and why is he of some much interest to the Jihadi?
Things we wish for
The film is full of Kamal’s signatures starting with the pun at Brahmins, cool action sequences (our man doing his own stunts), innovative screenwriting (the many flashbacks were neatly infused), impressive visual quality and the assembly of a majestic cast.
How often do we wish that the more capable of our actors find work that’s worthy of them? Not just good characters but to wish for these actors to occupy well lit frames and add to its entirety. If Rahul Bose and Nasar are on that wish list, they can be ticked off after this one. And Jaideep Ahlawat in a Telugu film (even though dubbed) was one of the reasons I want to thank the director with a big wide grin.
A fulfilling movie experience.
P.S. About the protests against the film… Here is a man who understands and has the intelligence to make a film about terrorism without seeming like an uneducated angry patriot. This probably is the one mainstream film that depicts the other side of things with love and care (specifics and stand points).