It is 1986; heavy rains and floods have ravaged villages in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Naturally, a few villages now fall into the danger of being drowned completely.Unaware of this danger (for it rains everywhere except in this village and they show sunshine on our Protagonist) a couple are getting married and receiving gifts. Two strangers give them surprisingly costly gifts. One a woman linked to protagonist’s past gifts a gold ring. And the other a rich merchant linked to bride’s past gifts her a gold chain. Doubt erupts amongst the villagers and also among the couple for it seems something bitter from the past has come back to haunt them. Soon warning comes to evacuate the village, for it is in the danger of drowning soon. As the villagers run helter-skelter seeking cover and a way to escape, the visibly shocked new-married couple are stranded and with a little luck, they end up afloat on a huge heap of grass.Now, that they are together, and with death fast approaching, they decide to tell each other of their bitter past and probably die true to each other.
This film is a failure on so many levels, beginning with the story, which could have been told in a montage of solid eight minutes, using images. The screenplay is amateur and looks largely improvised as they went along, the director must have just written this, “Two people, try to bury their past, forget it and move on”. Casting beginning with Lakshmi Manchu as Chitra (She is also the producer and dedicates this film to her family, which I think is a terrible choice) looks much older than guy she hopes to marry. Looks like his elder sister. She also plays a victim, victimized by some local perverts. Her victimization, sadly could not evoke any other emotion except laughter amongst the crowd, they seemed to have enjoyed it (Sorry, I say this on Woman’s day, but it was that badly acted). The episode with Tapsee (she plays a horny seductress) reminds one of the badly orchestrated sexual education films, they used to air at midnights on weekends in regional channels. Aadhi looks like a fisherman, but there isn’t much he could do, because of the bad writing. Maestro Ilayaraja’s magic is nowhere to be seen, the story must have left him pretty uninspired. The film has got a few decent visuals, but that does not help much.
If money is to be spent on terribly compromised visual effects (for the scenes are probably shot in the day and made to look like it is night. That was awful and I don’t see a reason why they should do that) and badly monitored post-production team (the color-correction must have been done by some temps from one of those costly film schools) that money is well-wasted. We are in need of writers, there has never been a time, that so badly needed writers, as it is now.
Present day Tamil cinema pioneers, like Aameer, Bala, Vetrimaaran and Myskin have forayed into the exploration of character non-existent to us living here amongst cosmopolitan excesses.Telling extremely moving stories and creating a new kind of realism and inspiring filmmakers all over (Anurag Kashyap was one), they have set an example of the importance of a good story.
How do you deliver a good story, that is where they put their energy on, visual effects and other excesses came after (Aadukalam). We have rich producers, but bad storytellers. Unfortunately,Cinema is largely about telling a good story and we have a long way to go.
Reviewed by Mohammed