I don’t get to watch too many films as and when they release for various reasons. So, I don’t get to write about them all on this blog and I definitely regret it. Then one day, @ramblinggeek (Karthik Ragubathy) gave me this idea of writing about (old) films on this blog anyway and perhaps calling them my ‘recommendations’. Well, not a bad idea at all, is it? This way, I can also remember all the films I’ve watched and what I thought about them at that point in time.
Film of the day: Mynaa
I am always delighted to watch films that don’t fall into the infamous ‘buckets’ of Tamil cinema. The story of 20 years told in just over 2 hours, Mynaa is a palette of colourful emotions of an exciting bunch of people. A story, so unusual in Tamil cinema that it makes one sit up in surprise and anticipation.
The story begins with the ‘hero’ in ‘jail’ – A flashback of his ‘love’ with Mynaa. A rather sweet recollection of childhood memories and the bloom of love, the film takes the much less beaten track to bring together two youngsters who’ve known each other long enough. There is a greedy mom who wants to get her daughter married to a rich(er) man and Suruli is forced to create a ruckus. There are scenes of Suruli and Mynaa’s mom beating each other and tearing hair, leaving me wonder about the realism of these things! Perhaps, this understanding is what we miss as urban dwellers.
Suruli escapes jail and saves Mynaa from a forced marriage and they are on the run. This for me is the best part of the whole film. The simplicity and the genuineness of an ‘accused’ travelling across states with two policemen escorting him and his fiancé. The conversations they have and the people they encounter. If it is indeed true of a village life, the film is a stunning display of the lack of complications (note: not complexity) in rural life. The accident scene (and afterward), though predictable, is a joy to watch.
The girl who plays Mynaa (Amala Paul) is so pretty; I haven’t seen one prettier lately. Her pimples add to her personality, I think. It reminds me of the Priyanka Chopra advertisement for flawless skin! Pah! Amala Paul proves beauty as is. Well, her performance of course is sheer magic. She underplays her part so well; you can never have enough of her!
The police officers seem as real as one can be as they go through bouts of excitement, fear, frustration, melancholy and pain all within one day. Bhaskar plays his role with such finesse that you feel sorry for what he might have to deal with from his wife and her family. He adds a sense of tension and expectation to the film. When Bhaskar brings Suruli back to the jail and instructs another officer to buy him food, I was so tense hoping he wouldn’t get Suruli poisoned. And the scene where he returns to the jail because Mynaa is in his house is a wonderful display of consideration and chivalry. Ramaiah on the other hand, is adorable for his combination of sensitivity and stupidity!
In all, Mynaa is a lovely film and a must watch for Tamil audiences seeking change. However, the one thing I do not understand in this recet trend of small budget alternate cinema is the never-ending urge to kill people and end it sadly. Why do all these films have to end with women being raped, beaten, abused or murdered? Why do men have to avenge such humiliation or death? I am not a sucker for happy endings. But aren’t we overdoing this already?