— Ranjani K (@_tharkuri) January 12, 2013
When I tweeted this from the theatre after watching the film, someone I know asked me “why do you watch these movies in the first place?” #NyaayamaanaKelvi
Now that I’ve watched the film, I must say that much of the criticism the film has been getting is unwarranted. I believe it is politically motivated and therefore I take a strong stand to tell you, my reader, that Alex Pandiyan is deeper than you think!
Innovative story line
To begin with, this film has a very ulaga-thiraippadangalil-mudhan-muraiyaaga based story line. Who in the history of Tamil cinema has kidnapped the CM’s daughter? Which CM has got disloyal secretary, commissioner, religious guru etc.? Which heroine in Tamil cinema has falling in love with the kidnapper? Which hero has uyira-panayam-vechu saved the heroine? Many films, you say? Okay. Let me ask you some more questions.
Which heroine has said to the villain, “unakku dhairiyam irundha avar kayatha avuthu vittu adida. Nee ambalai nu othukkaren“? Which hero has toppled a Tata Sumo with an aruvaal? Which mother has ennai thechu kulippaatti uttufied a stranger? Who makes a profession out of allowing his kaalai maadu to mate pasu maadus in the village? Conviced? I thought you’d be. Moving on.
Naatukku thevaiyaana nalla karuthukkal!
You see, we argue time and again that cinema has a great impact on culture. Then we show our people all sorts of nonsense. But Suraj has taken it upon himself (along with the music director, lyricist and every one, of course) to give the perfect advice to a girl who has vayasukku vandhufied and is being publicly paraded. Watch that video and tell me if you don’t agree. I will debate you till my last breath about it!
Maanam kaakkum magaa Annan!
Santhaanam plays the role of a perfect elder brother. He is the role model for the elder brothers of today playing protector, care-taker and provider- all in one. One 70% of the film is about Santhaanam *saving* his three sisters from the predator that is Karthi! At one point, the Amma character only comes to a level where Santhaanam has to protect her.
In the process of this protection, there are many many mutthaana karutthukkal the female future generation of the Tamilnaad is in dire need of! For example, “ponnum pori urundaiyum onnu. Adha badhrama paathukkanum. Namuthu pochu boni aagave aagaadhu.” He adds, “ungala boni panra varaikkum konjam namuthu pogaama irunga ma”.
Life need not have any purpose
While we are all sitting around trying to figure out what is the purpose of our living on the earth, Suraj makes a rather philosophical point in his own absurdist style. He shows in his film that there need not be a purpose for people to enter or exit a film (and by extension, life).
Take that Saravanan’s character for example. He does nothing for the furtherance of the film. In fact, his brother who gets motta adichufied, Prathap Pothan, Milind Soman, Suman, Visu, his wife character, Santhanam’s three sisters and mother, Santhanam, Anushka, Karthi – none of them do anything for the furtherance of the story. And I strongly believe this is Suraj’s way of reiterating what Nietzsche (is believed to have) said: A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
Love knows no boundaries
There is this one last thought I want to leave you with. I believe is my responsibility to detangle Suraaj’s masterfully woven message about love. Love knows no boundaries, love has no reason and love has no logic. Love happens and no one knows why, how, who or even what the fu(k! *Three* *sisters* fall in love with a *stranger* who their mother has saved from the riverside. They love him so much they play (something like) dikkilona in the house with him (along with very many other #haun games).
Then, the CM’s daughter falls in love with a *drunken* *homeless* *nari biriyani eating* *wayward* *on bail* who kidnapped her *for money* because he saves her from dying while she jumps off a cliff. My only regret here is that Prathap Pothen did not have a heroine. That would have been the proverbial last nail on the coffin!