Saturday, April 18, 2015

O Kadhal Kanmani (film)

Are you young and single and never want to get into a relationship? Watching OK Kanmani would make you want to feel the pain of love.
Are you old and still fight with your better half? Watching OK Kanmani would make you want to cuddle your wrinkled spouse.
15 years after Alaipayuthey, Mani Ratnam is back on his turf with a pure and pleasant love story. After the failed experiment of Kadal, he could have gone out to make a commercial film roping in a star from the Top 10, or he could have made another film with a political backdrop, or he could have even gone over to Bollywood once again, where he would have found himself a bigger budget and wider reach. But no, he decided against all of this and set out to make something simple but memorable. Thus, OK Kanmani was born.

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It is a simple story that features two couples: one, young, who seem to have escaped their conservative dens are living far away from home and two, older couple, who seem to have preserved their values even while living in a cultural melting pot like Mumbai.
The youngsters, Aadhi (Dulquer Salmaan) and Tara (Nithya Menon), are both independent and ambitious individuals with promising careers. They both are of the view that the system of marriage is flawed and vow to never be tied down to a marriage. However, they find themselves attracted to each other, decide to be in a live-in relationship till they both part ways for their respective careers. Soon enough and as expected, they fall in love.
On the other hand, the older couple, Ganapathy (Prakash Raj) and Bhavani (Leela Samson), is still very much in love after years of marriage. The story-line moves in a way that the older couple become the backbone to the younger couple's relationship, which becomes crucial during the climax.

Dulquer-Nithya pair's charm and chemistry combined with the performance of Prakash Raj and Leela Samson, give life to otherwise plain storyline. Dulquer with his own style, looks dashing and is perfect for the role of Aadhi, a carefree yet passionate guy. On the other hand, Nithya can very well be called as Kanmani of the film, as she speaks with her love filled eyes and beautiful performance. Prakash Raj, with his natural way of acting with maturity, adds vital seasoning to already charming film. Leela Samson as his wife Bhavani, an Alzheimer's patient, turns out to be the germane selection of Mani Ratnam. Kudos to the director and the actor quartet.

A.R.Rahman, P.C.Sreeram and Sreekar Prasad are the background heroes of the film. As usual, Rahman's songs and BGM give goosebumps to the viewers. Aptly placed, songs of this film could be stand alone attraction for fans. The classical bit of "Theera Ulaa" and the male voice of "Naanae Varugiraen" are worth mentioning.
Sreeram's camera surprises the audiences right from train station scene at the beginning. Even the cut vegetables look ravishing through his lens. I was so immersed in the screen when I noticed the creative camera angles during "Paranthu Sellavaa" song, which was taken within the walls of a single room.
Sreekar's neither too lengthy nor too short editing serves as a silent backbone for OK Kanmani. One can hope that his innovative editing, like the one in the fast paced "Mental Manathil" song, continues in his upcoming films.

Mani Ratnam's touch to the film is visible in the due importance given to picayune. A Daliesque clock in Architect Nithya's room, Prakash Raj grinding spices physically and usage of traditional Tamil vessels are few examples. To sum it up, OK Kanmani is a feel-good urban love story with a simple premise backed with strong performances, exquisite visuals and soulful music.
OK Kanmani - a classy romantic by Maniratnam and Co.