A couple of days too late as this comes, it is indeed a Women’s day post. It is about a truly disappointing film by Sasikumar – Easan. After Subramaniapuram (though I thought it was pretty gory), one is not unjustified to expect a decent film from Sasikumar. He showed promise (and his face all over Vijay TV) in his earlier films. I was lured into watching this by all the ‘this is my first attempt at a city-based film’ rant by Sasikumar in the media. Another one of those pseudo-women-empowerment nonsense this film is!
Two films in one!
I’ll start with the blatantly brainless parts of the film and then go further into the hidden brainlessness. To begin with, this is, in fact, two different films connected only by the ticket the viewer buys. The first half is about Chezhiyan’s love (at first sight), his father’s business/ politics and his mother’s subservience. It is generously showered with drunken women, eve teasing, coffee shop moments and rave parties. Each and every one of these ‘youngsters’ speaks in broken English that is rather irritating. To top it all, Chezhiyan’s girlfriend speaks in broken Tamil and broken Kannada. As someone who can speak both languages rather well, it was painful listening to her!
(Vaibhav as Chezhiyan is pretty convincing. He is very irritating. But isn’t that the point?)
Chezhiyan’s love story is indeed a wonderful piece of work. He sees the girl at a party and says “Naan mudivu pannitten [I have decided]. I am going to marry her” and there begins his ‘love affair’. He saves her (alone) from getting jailed for being at a rave party. At that instant, she understands his love and starts seeing him (she hated the sight of his face till then). Just about 10 minutes later in the film, she cuts her wrist and is ready to die in an act of convincing her father to marry Chezhiyan. Her father is another story altogether!
There is power struggle, politics, business, raids in brothels, murders, kidnapping and all sorts of unrelated sequences and then comes the much awaited interval. It makes me believe that the director has added all experiences in his life into this one film.
Post interval, it’s a new film altogether. Some 15 year old kid is apparently behind the kidnap and a few murders before that. There is a flashback of the 15 year old (called Easan, by the way) and his family in a village. Some scenes compare people in a city and a village, showing how cruel a city is. Then Easan’s sister (who happens to be mute) gets raped, after getting drunk, by a group of her college mates (one of whom happens to be Chezhiyan). So, Easan seeks revenge and gets it. The film ends with a cliched surreal climax. Basically, close to three hours of pointlessness.
And the disgusting part!
To give credit where it’s due, this is not really the worst of films made on sexual harassment of women. There is definitely worse. However, joining a range of recent films like Vettaikaaran, Angadi Theru, Naan Mahaan Alla and Yudham Sei (of course not all are the same)s, this film does not go any distance in treating rape differently. The girl is raped and her dad poisons her and kills her (for fear of facing the world about it). And a man seeks revenge (as a guardian of her chastity).
Can we get over this and treat the victim as a victim and not a shameful criminal? For once, will Tamil cinema directors stop killing women who’ve been raped? In fact, in this film, the girl who is merely eve teased in the very beginning of the film also dies in an accident. Correct me if you think I’m overreacting, but I think this film goes a clear step ahead to show that women who drink are bound to meet this end (while men who drink seem to escape any trace of remorse). The helpless friend character is even worse!
Over all, there is no sensitive treatment of crime. There is no show of intelligence. No coherence. No diligence. In the end, there is practically nothing that leaves you impressed! Once again, when is Sasikumar’s next film due?