O Kadhal Kanmani
The 3 hours of OKK was very entertaining. But as I walked out, my mind started thinking about what was wrong and how it could have been better. The movie was a feel good one, however, it failed to amaze me. You have certain cult Mani Ratnam movies like Mouna ragam, Agni nakshatram, the Tamil Raavan, Kannathil Muthamithal etc, compared to these OKK will never meet the high standards the aforementioned had set. It was almost in the same league as Alaypayuthey, though OKK has a better and fresher outlook!
Obviously it is unfair to compare any two movies. But, beyond the feel good factor, the famous Mani Ratnam movies have more than just that- they connect with the audience at an emotional level. It makes them laugh, smile, cry and rejoice. Ok Kanmani personally, couldn’t connect with me to that level, sparing few scenes like the “azhathey nnu sollu aadhi” which silently made your heart go to Tara!
O Kadal Kanmani, a very innovative title, kind of piques our interest as to what Mani Ratnam has to offer in this love story! Clearly , the name of the movie was decided first and then it was thought of how it was to be used in the movie. However, never actually felt inappropriate. Infact, made you smile every time it was used.
The initial credits with a gaming theme was really good with the awesome Kaara Attakaara background theme. It is good Mani Ratnam chose Mumbai as the location. One reason could be to avoid families and relatives who generally settle all over Tamil Nadu. Another reason is to show Live-in to be accepted – among people as well as society. Mumbai is quite evolved in any matter as compared to Chennai or Tamil Nadu. Sorry to say, but people here are quite judgemental!
Anyways, the Mumbai Chennai cultural diff, Hindi Tamil language problem was well covered except in a few places. A video gaming company in Mumbai having North eastern girls too, yet everyone converses in Tamil?? Well, we shouldn’t expect so much when the guy is trying to compensate at other places!
First and foremost, background music was great- blend of western, classical and fusion music. Perfect!
Salman and Nithya looked amazing in the initial wedding scene and it was done quite well, makes you smile throughout. They shared a beautiful chemistry. They looked good individually and together.
Paranda Sellava song was filmed wonderfully. The song was brilliant and the chemistry between the actors without even touching each other was great! Reminds you of the Sathiya Udi udi song. Aye Sinamika song was a nice and different way to capture the moments of Adi-Tara live-in through a song.
As always, some of the best shots in Ratnam movies are those shot in Train/bus or Cab or Bike which were awesome. I was initially wondering why an open minded girl like Tara hesitated to even sit on the bike at first. Then I read a recent interview about Mani Ratnam who mentioned it was quite intentional. Being from Coimbatore, she had a certain upbringing and we all have certain cultural limitations and inhibitions and it was a way to show the same.
It was lovely to see 2 parallel relations- one being the modern day romances which starts with a promise to not stay put forever and definite NO to marriage; on the other hand, an old conventional romance that starts with a love letter till marriage to an extent of one selflessly taking care of another till death.
Coming to the flip sides,
The relation starts as a one where they shouldn’t be emotionally involved, stay together for as long as they can and then part away. This wasn’t conveyed by the lead actors though. They seemed quite into each other emotionally as well. Going out of the way for each other is not something people involved in casual flings do. It never felt like a no strings attached relation. It was like Mani Ratnam wanted to have a modern concept yet retain the good old love story essence and get them married in the end!
Very little buildup for the love story was shown. They meet for a couple of times and decide to live in. It didn’t seem rushed at any point of time, however, the sweet nothings was completely missing!
Sing a classical song with house owner’s wife and the usually conservative and stern man agrees for a live-in relation?? That’s quite …..something!! But as everything else, we have to make certain assumptions.
Too much time was wasted showing Ganapathy and Bhawani and Chandrika and Adi’s family etc. They all had some role to play in the movie but their frame duration could have been reduced a bit and put to better use somewhere else.
Overall, the movie fares quite well. You come out of the movie hall feeling entertained and it has a feel good factor like Rajkumar Hirani movies. But I doubt if it can ever be a cult movie- staying alive in our minds for generations..