Badla : An interesting thriller that is not intense enough to be intriguing

Badla – Revenge

This quest for truth breaks out in broad daylight and in the initial acquainting moments moves in a manner simple and casual doing little to the mood of the thriller where the beat and its heat amount crucial above the sundry.

Mr.Badal Gupta ( Badal meaning the “cloud’ ) holds in him droplets of rain – the droplets of truth and revenge ,letting it shower over the sinner , leaving her drenched and ensnarled in the engulfing cold.If you ,I and her freezing in the chill ,teeth jittering was the motive of the downfall ,doubts arise if the result had been vitally victorious but if the intention was to strike a sense of justice to the revenge,proof suggests that the fulfillment has been partially powerful.

One simply wrong move , unintentional and as insignificant as taking a left instead of a right can destroy and distort lives altogether – the highlight of this underlining aspect is brief and would have been brilliant if retained throughout ,giving the film a heart beat.
A seemingly harmless deer crossing life’s roads unleashes the beastly wolf in one .Here,the suspense builds on who the wolf actually is and when the cunning wolf awakens and howls ,it is , however, not deeply arousing . Clearly,the revenge has relied on a few high points that makes up for the feeble rest which form a set back in the thriller which brings in drama to feed flavour and life to it.
There are parts where drama overpowers the former and the arousal is set in an arena distinct – one instance would be the interaction between the two mothers( the roots and fathoms of the motherhood here find themselves only at the surface sufficient) where one tosses the other’s gold coated cigarette lighter into the pool of water asking if disposing off her precious son was as simple as that.That was a clue in itself guiding the stranded parents’ mission to retrieve at least the body of their son but it was pretty disappointing to note that the same wasn’t presented with a solid purpose but with passion to merely break the film for an intermission.Besides,there are places where the drama acts as a distort but doesn’t fortunately fuel discord.
The dialogues ( the ones mouthed by the mighty Bacchan ) carry stauch substance especially in the Mahabharata references and hence serves reason to the reliance .
While silence and symphony formed the significance in the parent film,The Invisible Guest( Contratiempo), dialogues had managed the same function in its offspring though in degrees varied.
In this brief tale, accounts on the parent’s actual travail don’t find an easy organic route to us as the flesh of it contains no blood to make our hearts bleed .The revelation itself is less of a shock and it doesn’t rob the heart off its momentary beat.It does leave an impact saving the film but has considerably lower intensity to let the film linger in the hearts.Questions of logic hit us in the run and create inevitable doubts over the power of the package that has come with forces as formidable as Mr.Bacchan and Tapsee who do their best to elevate the effect of their respective roles.
Mr.Gupta reinforces the necessity of details and adds that even the tiniest bit of all details counts essential.Yes,it does and because it does ,this revenge misses its catch over becoming something arrant and arresting.The sole swap from Orion Paulo’s original is just the shift in genders of the characters .The rest is a replica – a repack and in the repacking, essential heat and its essence seem condensed and hence lost.
Badla – an interesting thriller that isn’t intense enough to be intriguing.

Dhadak – Leaves a dainty scar with a life of its own

Dhadak : The Movie Review
Dhadak leaves a dainty scar with a life of its own!

Life is all about love.As William Shakespeare precisely states,
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds
Or bends with the remover to remove
O no! It is an ever fixed mark
That looks on the tempests and is never shaken
….
Love alters not with his(Time’s) brief hours and weeks
But bears it out even to the edge of doom
If this be error and upon me proved ,
I never write, nor no man ever loved!”
Isn’t it such an ecstasy reading the words of the Bard of Avon and feeling the depth of what this overwhelming emotion really is! Dhadak is the love story originating from the beats of the heart .It is gritty and fights all the tempests but is never shaken. It does not alter with time ,instead evolves with every single error into something more holistic. The hearts fight all odds and travel through strange and intimidating cities settling for love and promises of life.

As Madhukar and Parthavi fall for each other in the palatial Udaipur, life already has its harrowing destiny awaiting them. Power and politics blind Ratan Singh, Parthavi’s “dear” dad of his fatherly love and he turns a hunter under the influence of honor leaving the young souls in love at a deep distress.

In talks about star kids, it is difficult to elude a mention on the parents and their powerful influence. Sairat, the raw and rebellious parent of Dhadak gave us an immense detail and account of the caste-driven society of rural India. It is disappointing that Dhadak made a conscious choice not to venture deep into it. We merely get to the surface as the love story progresses and meets its tragic end. Parental pressure restricts the pleasure of any experience which a child acquires and provides. It is depriving to search for the traces of a parent’s striking attitude within a child since everyone deserves a life of their own. Dhadak,is of course the kid of an epic as much as Jhanvi is. The life within them can be seen and felt only when we sit back without thoughts of comparisons and contrasts.

Humor is added despite it being not quintessential to the film. However, it keeps the theatre aloud and accidentally creates a few high points in the film (the other emotional parts are the intended ones). The music and Ishaan’s eyes pass the electricity of innocent , curious and lively love . As life turns a roller coaster, they reveal pain, bafflement and fragility. Ishaan is an actor Bollywood must embrace and not lose to the number wars! Love is expensive. The price one pays for it includes death-trap from which only a few escape. This draws us to one of the brutal on going social issue in India – honour killing. As the film states, in the last few years nearly 30000 men, women and children were killed for committing the most unforgivable crime of falling in love while thousands of such cases remain unknown . Movies are tools of sensitizing the societies towards such ruthless issues. It is good to note films taking on them with Dhadak being latest in the list of NH 10, Ishaqzaade,Sairat and Khap.Sairat itself is a tweaked up version of the gut – wrenching Tamil film Kaadhal which released in 2004.
Coming back, the conclusion was largely unconvincing and created an excruciatingly opposite impact on few as streaks of laughter filled the silent theatre at the heart-wrenching scene. It didn’t work for a good lot of people who sensed the ridicule strangely and for the rest who had been previously exposed to the soulful ending of Sairat. Sairat’s end tore the heart apart and left it incessantly bleeding while Dhadak left a dainty scar. However ,this brings in to my heart a few words of pain and there we go:
“In our blood, you cleanse your honor
As our hearts stop, you elevate your honor
The ignorant hearts believed, ‘To love is no crime
We fell a pretty to your honor
An animal, wild and untamed
Tearing apart and gulping down souls, not mere bodies
Let our blood prints stay
Reminding the future to know no lovers and hence sinners.”

Written on :July 23,2018
Review By:
Jaya Gomathi Mirra R
National School of Journalism , Bangalore

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam – Diamonds Cut Diamonds

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam – The Crimson Red sky

In a bloody hunt beneath the red sky,unfolds a loud and racy drama of rage.Amid stupendous splendour,arrives Mani Ratnam’s much awaited ensemble Chekka Chivantha vaanam re-establishing and reinforcing the magician’s magical hold over cinema.With the thumping beats of “Sevanthu pochu Nenju“( the heartbleeds) begins the brutal hunt ,ending in the haunting question of “ Idhayam Thaanguma?”( O heart! Can you bear this pain?).As the phenomenal music and deep lyrics says it all,it is about bleeding ruthless hearts making their way towards ruling the kingdom of crime, bearing betrayal and irreparable losses in the pestilent path.The film takes the unapologetic side under the red sky providing us a sincere account of misery happening within the other side of crime- we have had a commendable lot of films where the network of crime and it’s devoted family is handled at a safer distance . With this film,the distance is bridged and we become a part of the family , realising and feeling their motives, justifications,greed and miscellaneous emotions.
Anything unique and unusual is naturally intriguing – empowered with this ,the film stands tall owning all probable advantages.
We have Prakash Raj as Senapathi- the king of crime with his bold and beautiful wife Laxmi(Jayasudha).As the heads of family,they keep it intact but are torn apart as things fall out of place.Senapati is made endearing with elements of finesse left throughout his screen presence leaving us hold pity towards the nature of betrayal he has been subjected to.There is no powerful backstory to highlight the rise and magnitude of his prominence but we get reasonable hype to relate to his character’s majesty.For instance,as he blends as one into the part of nature,his son’s old friend ( we will talk about the sons and character in the later part) remarks wistfully that an epic has come to an end leaving them all as void – such was the power he had during his reign.The humane side of him is revealed in minute moments uplifting his character.As Senapathi returns to consciousness in the hospital post suffering a serious attack from enemies(?),he asks regarding his wife and then about his car driver who accompanied them.This depicts his concern for those around him yet his own blood rage against him, being blinded by the greed for power.Despite being aware of who the attackers were,he leaves it to the almighty’s fortune expressing a suppressed amount of regret in his sins.
He is not the “Godfather” kind of Don Dad who strives with his sons to withhold the family-atleast,his family is not the same.The sons are three different beings ,all with a quest for power and control.However ,the heartbreaks that the father and the family suffer draw us to the truthful words from Godfather which goes ,” The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies”.
As the three Rajas– VaradhaRajan,ThiyagaRajanand EthiRajan battle for Senapathi’s throne, betrayal and brutality magnify.Throughout the film,these characters are widely addressed by their first names without including ” Raja” highlighting that none of them are one.Casting is the power of the film- the entire lot from Jayasudha to Mansoor Ali Khan boost up the red sky.
Varadha- the first and the closest is hasty and barbarous.While the latter part of description applies to the other two,they own the outlook of a gentleman and a swagger.The last one owns the stealer swag.
Thiyagu- who holds the Dubai sector of his crime business lives his luxurious Hayati(life) with diverse vernacular and two sides owning the wit to win.Finally,we meet the stellar stealer of the show-“Ethi”.Ethi is as much STR as STR is Ethi.That is a perfect example of masterful casting.This is unequivocally Str’s massive classy comeback.Starting with “Naan Varanuma?”( Should I come?) callousness to his entreating to his beloved mother,he emerges with style and soul.
Rasool Ebrahim- the spine of the film is bestowed upon Vijay Sethupathi and he is a joyful surprise who adds amusement to Mani sir’s magic.He has a solid backstory which ultimately backfires.He is comical, convincing, morally vicious and what not! There is a scene involving his confrontation with Varadha( yes,Rasool was the friend who remarked connecting Senapathi to be an Epic) post his suspension- he being in the opposite and lower level of a building ( an under construction site!) and Varadha on the opposite top level.They are on the same building but on opposite sides and different levels- there lies the point.He is in the shore while the sharks battle it out in the bloody sea.
The women under the sky are strong and even brutal as the men are – a mother heartbroken at what her darling children are up to, a wife standing gutsily with her husband despite the travail, another one who has to bear the brunt of her husband’s sins and candidly expresses her disgust over the same and there is a young and easy girl falling a victim to the power play.
We have Aditi Rao Hydari playing Varadha’s illegitimate girlfriend.She has scarce influence over the film despite her genuine love for Varadha.She merely provides us with an insight into Varadha’s character and act as a supplement.Chitra(Joe at he best),the equal strength of Varadha portrays rage and boundless love for her better half-she says she will rather die than seeing her husband fall.The women here are distinct from one another in this film which revolves around the men .Aishwarya Rajesh does her earnest to Renu with a Sri Lankan dialect and a sturdy sense for self.When her husband ,Thiyagu meets her after she is imprisoned under a conspiracy,she doesn’t entirely breakdown that he has pushed her into this.Neither does she assure him that she will bear it out all for him.She tells him calmly yet stoutly that ” Naan iruka vendiya idathil nee irukirai ,Nee iruka vendiya idathil naan irukiren”( You are where I ought to be while I am here where you are doomed to be).
As love and life evaporate,tears stay moist.A beauteous line from Bhoomi Bhoomi asks “Kadalil meen ondru azhuthaal ,karaiku seithi vandhu serumo?“( Will the tears of fish ever surface?) to which our hearts know no answer.
Of course,the crimson red sky houses ferocious animals- but they are all animals of emotion.The film deftly digs the deeper part of emotions under the heart of crime.Their bleeding hearts beat as well.With consecutive losses of lives,the story moves with sudden pace leaving us longing for a miniscule time interval to delve into death and loss.

We absolutely get a sense of the story and are pulled into the pattern but the story sense develops throughout and finally reaches its peak- the peak where the protagonist is seated with contentment of his steadfast mission’s completion and as the wide shot expands ,we see a stream of water under the dry and red valley revealing that under the blood red sky,there is a stream of blue water – the one of hope fighting the evil which has established years old kingdom of crime.It is all about betrayal but Betrayal of Purpose.Afterall, DIAMONDS CUT DIAMONDS.

Note : Written on 1.10.18

Published : Feb 7

Eyes turned Skyward

UAV ( Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ) commonly known as a drone is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. An UAV is defined as a “powered ,aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator ,uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift , can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable and can carry a lethal or non lethal payload. Does this technical definition make the concept sound as an idea of future or research focus of Japan or USA? Well! Within Chrompet of Chennai, unknown to a lot , occurs an international level research in UAV technology at one compact floor in Madras Institute of Technology’s(MIT’s) Admin block. It has been two decades since the quest began and so far ,there has been no looking back.

YESTERDAY WAS HISTORY
“Excellence is a continuous process and not an accident” said Dr .APJ.Addul Kalam, pretty earlier than naming the prodigy of his knowledge house, MIT as Team Dhaksha . He started as a humble and hungry student in MIT ,became a faculty member of the institution and went to achieve glory as a research scientist in ISRO and then the president of the nation. Today, he serves as an incessant inspiration to young minds of the nation. It is his dreams and vision that MIT’s team Dhaksha shoulders . The team was formerly referred to as CASR – Center for Aerospace Research , established with an aim of achieving self reliance and significance in UAV technology. CASR has been credited with initiating the first student developed satellite of the country which was also the first to be designed outside the premises of ISRO. The team declined a million dollar offer proposed by the US government following their participation in DARPA 2012 .DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military. Dr.Senthil Kumar , Director of CASR and more importantly a devoted student of Dr .Kalam, paid no heed to the dollars but to his Guru’s profound words, “ You went to the United States to prove yourself,not to sell yourself.Come back! The nation is waiting!”
Dr.Kalam ,a man of his promises called in on MIT to inspect the UAV .Dr.Vasantharaj, Research Scientist at CASR recalled how enthusiastic Dr.Kalam was to learn about the workings of the system that when the UAV landed,he had rushed to it to analyze any system changes besides ensuring whether the device was user – friendly.
Following the inspection, a smaller version of the UAV was procurred by the DRDO. It was then that Dr.Kalam named the team as Dhaksha .Dhaksha means an air warrior,he had said ,filled with awe for MIT’ s warriors who invested their brains and sweat in developing such sophisticated systems.Overwhelmed by joy ,Dr.Kalam shared a poem that he had conceived after witnessing the MultiRotor UAV fly and complete its mission flawlessly. Dr.VasanthaRaj displayed a video of this stimulative moment remarking that this was the team ‘s energy booster.
The poem ends on a note of ambition which goes:
“I was born with a quest for research
I was born to fly high amid the clouds
I shall never crawl in the ground
Never!
The vast blue sky is my goal
Up there,I will keep flying ,all my life!”

TETHERED UAVs

When the CWRD laid a challenging proposal before Team Dhaksha with requirements of UAVs capable of hovering at an altitude of 100 meter ,24 × 7 serving as a fundamental surveillance system for the Border Security Force ( BSF) ,the team resolved the demanding situation by developing tethered UAVs which were capable of handling camera payload with endurance of 6 hours at a maximum of 100 m height. The tethered drone with sensor payload served the purpose of surveillance during day and night. The UAV was tethered to a ground station located on a predefined area which provided the power source. Thirty minutes of a recharge break powered up the device to serve its endurance limit.

DURING THE DISASTERS
Dhaksha has played an active part in various disaster rescue operations in the country starting from The Himalayan Tsunami At Uttarkhand during 2013 to the very recent Gaja Cyclone.
During the Chennai Floods in 2015,Team Dhaksha extended its timely help to the rescue team , providing aerial perspectives which offered information on victim location and the path to reach them besides enabling delivery of necessities such as food and medicines to the stranded people.

Swarm UAV s ,the currently developing research project of Dhaksha emphasises on flying 50 UAVs in a coordinated way like a flock of birds which can prove tremendously useful in establishing network infrastructure at the time of disasters with individual network components being held by the hovered UAVs .The flock will hence act as a tower .This project is a vital part of Dhaksha’s participation in DRDO’s national level competition – DRUSE : DRDO Robotics and Unmanned Systems Exposition.
Team Dhaksha during rescue operations at the time of Chennai Floods

Last year ,the team gathered limelight with its participation in the UAV Medical Express Challenge 2018

UAV MEDICAL EXPRESS CHALLENGE 2018

With the UAV challenge 2018,the team aimed at exhibiting their proficiency in international level, competing with world class standards and thereby enhancing the features of their prototype.Team Dhaksha established a world record in Phase 2 of the competition achieving continuous flight for 6 hours 7 minutes and 45 seconds.The team scored the highest points in flight segment but secured place 2, missing victory by merely 0.85 points. Monash UAS , a team based from Australia acquired place 1 .

Dhaksha owned apprehensions on why they were marked considerably lesser than Monash UAS in two previous segments but were clear on their goal which wasn’t solely centered on place one.Dr.Vasantharaj , stated how Monash team ‘s breach of rules did not invite negative marking ,expressing his regret over unfair politics prevailing even in international competitions conducted with noble and utilitarian causes.
However ,the victory at Queensland remains glorious for the nation .An incredulous amount of diligence and dedication has fueled the feat.
It is with this competition that their journey with the widely known and celebrated Mr.Ajit Kumar began.

THE STAR’S PART

Mr.Ajit Kumar,known fondly as Thala( “The Leader”) in Tamil Nadu isn’t merely a man of blockbusters but brilliance. As Dr.Senthil Kumar puts it ,he is one of the top aero-modelers of the nation with an exceptional expertise in the field. He was appointed as the team’s Test Pilot and UAV system advisor during the course of the competition. He ,who is a high school drop out, works today with prominent PhD holders in CASR ,elevating the features of the designed prototypes. Dr.Vasantharaj summed their choice of the star in a simple yet striking way,” Intelligence is not dependent on graduation. He is intelligent!”. Auto – pilot accounts as a major difference in the functionality and requirements of an UAV. In UAV ,automation eliminates the need for a pilot but inevitable inputs of a trained and skilled pilot are requisites for tuning the structure. Dr.Vasanth Raj remarked that Mr.Ajit’s reflex as a pilot was splendid and he attributed the same to the star’s early years in Motorsports. Ajit Kumar has implemented thoughtful strategies he had learnt from controlling his bikes in controlling and structuring the UAV.
One notable instance is his instructions to disassemble the machine when the team was convinced that the UAV was ready for deployment. He advocated reassembly for at least three to four times as it will enable them discover intricate individual aspects in which they have erred. Prior racing, the bikes are stripped and the parts are prepped up individually to make the bikes faster. The yesteryear racer has tried the same with the UAV besides providing the team with insights on the right mix of fuel for the system. His practical knowledge, passion and precision propels the team and inspires enthusiastic young minds to experiment in aero-modelling.

AERIAL MAPPING

UAV s can be used in place of satellites for mapping and prove more advantageous , generating three dimensional maps with a resolution of 3cm while the presently used Google maps own a resolution of 6 meter. Dhaksha has completed a project sourced from Government Of Tamil Nadu centered on aerial mapping of all the rivers in the states , particularly in several flood prone areas to enhance flood preparedness.
Following eminent work in building UAVs used for aerial mapping ,Dhaksha has signed an MoU with ISRO on 14th January 2019. The VC of MIT signed representing the team while the present director-in-chief of ISRO and MIT alumni Dr.Kailasavadivoo Sivan fulfilled the requirements from ISRO’s side .Dr.Vasantharaj explained the prominence of UAV generated maps whose measurable nature enables volumetric analysis at mines, providing alerts regarding violations of specified mining standards in addition to facilitating surveillance, aerial view of mines, mining impact assessment and mine -planning operations support .He asserted that these maps will empower the government with reliable digital data sets aiding in prompt infrastructure planning .

DRONE TAXIS- TALK OF TODAY

Dr.ThamaraiSelvi ,Director of Center of Technology Development and Transfer added a new flavor to the entire session bringing up the concept of Drone taxis ,an escape to the mounting road traffic in the near future. Drone taxis which are known as passenger drones can be manned or unmanned . Various countries are continuing research in this potential area while Dhaksha has commenced it’s attempts in this field with an undeterred determination to lead the nation in development of commutation through drones .

Recently,a prototype of the drone taxi was successfully displayed and demonstrated at the TamilNadu Global Investors Meet.Dr.Thamarai Selvi stated that drone taxis will enter the market by 2025, regulations being rightly scripted in the meanwhile with regards to Air Traffic Management ( ATM). “ Discussions on drone taxis is not free of unease amidst the civilians. Back then, people had baseless and enormous fears prior taking to airplanes. Today, it has become one of the most common forms of transport . We are in that primary phase of dread in terms of drone taxi. As time and technology advances, drone taxis will definitely constitute a part of our routine”, she added with conviction.

AN IDEAL PICNIC
Dr.Senthil Kumar, expressed his dream of witnessing India emerge as a global leader in drone developments. “ Despite enormous militant and civilian applications, there are only a limited number of indigenous UAV systems in the nation, leading to frequent imports from Israel and USA”,he said, adding that this state will alter with their efforts and the increasing awareness about technology.
He stated with pride that this is the only research center in India which is exclusively focused on UAV. The zeal for research should prosper in the country, he said besides expressing his discontentment over the lack of aero-modelling clubs in the nation. An awareness among people on UAVs accounts important and these aspects should at least be encouraged as hobbies ,he affirmed .
He provided an intriguing picture of an ideal picnic – A family packing their bags in the weekend , visiting a nearby aero model club , flying a compact aero model , rejoicing as the machine flies higher , curious of its Dynamics and welcoming advancements in the field.
With dreams bigger, spirits higher and drive unbridled , team Dhaksha moves on and will continue flying higher as Dr. Kalam wished , transporting our awestruck minds to the following words of DaVinci
“ Once you have tasted flight, you will forever
Walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward,
For there you have been, and there
You will always long to return!”

Sarvam Thaala Mayam- A good to watch Guru Shishya tale that is moving ,not momentous

The film begins with Peter Johnson’s spirited voice over that introduces us to the city of the lead prior moving to himself.It is an introduction that evoked a sudden sense of elation within me .It goes: ” Chennai is the only city in the world where an International Airport is named after a screenwriter “( This truly is a pride amidst global conversations pointing to how writers are undermined regardless of their indispensable contributions to the craft ), extending to how we have fondly accepted film personalities as our leaders.

The city’s relentless fad for films transports us to Peter ,a purposeless rogue with an incredible craze for Thalapathy Vijay that he draws the star’s portrait in his exam sheets and leaves to the FDFS.He doesn’t stop there,he serves societal causes in his capacity through the Fan club.This start on cinephilia defines how the community of ours has blended into one with art. We have fallen for its nuances,joy and ache. Here is a young man from a poor and underprivileged background , striving to enter the field of art for which he has fallen – a province that is sophisticated, demanding and is widely identified with the Brahmana Community.Peter wants to be a Mirudangam player.
This film was initially anticipated to be the journey of a Dalit Christian making his way to Carnatic music. Well, the film serves the same and surprisingly soars higher with its central theme which is not just about the young dreamer but his bond with his Mentor.Sarvam Thaala Mayam stands out as a moving mentor – protege tale .
One is a devout Sishya while the other is a godly Guru.The bond they share is the core which is heart warming and so human. The mentor – Vembu Iyer is a Sangeetha Vidhwaan , who is highly confident, competitive and uncompromising when it comes to his Mirudangam music .His convictions over conventions are mistaken for arrogance.We too conceive him that way initially when he tells that he would have become a Supreme Court Judge if not a musician for he is the number one in any field he enters.The next dialogue he mouths unearths the artist in him , assuring us that there is more to this man .He says Law is what he learned but Sangeetham ( Music) is what he loved.
In an other scene when Peter tells Iyer that he wishes to learn Mirudangam from him and become Number 1 in the world ,Iyer tells Peter straight that he can’t.When the distraught Peter asks why , Iyer replies that he is always the Number one in the universe and chuckles.Peter obliges with laughter that it is true and he shall happily be Number 2.
Iyer’s is a personality that is soulful and surprising. He talks in high esteem of the divinity that carnatic music is centered around and tells none can master the art with no understanding of this underlined philosophy.
Over the course ,he contains the ideal subtly to himself and doesn’t force religion over his discriminated protege.
In a scene set outside a temple in the early morning ,Vembu Iyer has his filter coffee served to him in a brass coloured cup and saucer.In another scene ,when Peter returns to his native village ,the tea shopkeeper angrily switches from glass cup to plastic cup to serve tea to him after learning where he belongs to.The two here represent different stratas of the society.Their belief systems and clan aren’t common but passion for music is .It binds them into one.
Back to the scene (do excuse for the turn we took right here ) !
Vembu Iyer remarks on how humble the temple troupe is singing on their way to the worship place and asks Peter on what he infers from them. A lot were expecting that Iyer might be bringing up the concept of religion.He doesn’t.He never does.
He instead,tells Peter his wish as a teacher that leaves us and the protege in joy.
His fingers create magic in the Mirudangam that pulls Peter into music.The Guru gives the rogue purpose ,passion and power of knowledge.
The Guru’s singular vision in music and life creates rivalries , distances him from his true disciple who finds the way back.
The journey that follows unravels the rediscovery the mentor and the disciple arrive at.
A significant subplot that strives to equip the core is the story of Peter ‘s family, his community and their traditional profession – making musical instruments such as Mirudangam ,Tavilu and the alike. They work amidst poverty to provide means for the players to create art at its best.Their beliefs in the profession are equally divine to that of Vembu Iyer’s in his.
The city’s precedence in the intro part attains meaning post interval when Peter confronts a blatant form of caste discrimination at his village.On the other hand,the city helps them lead a small , undisturbed life masking who they are and where they belong to.It doesn’t serve tea in plastic cups to them .It knows no caste in its haste.Back in the village which is empty and dry as their poverty striken lives ,Peter witnesses the scar of his community ‘s suppression amidst the delightful yet poignant beats of Dingu – Dongu.
The frustrations mount up in him and reveal themselves seemlessly through his fingers as beats.
His father , a Mirudangam maker has no heart to switch jobs despite the guilt of being incompetent in extending financial support to the family.His dream is to safeguard the trade of Mirudangam Making – he proudly refers to it as Art.However ,he doesn’t approve of the elitist art Peter is dreaming of.He, like other parents wants his son to follow his steps and shoulder his dreams.
It is sad that there is no fulfilling and complete track of this subplot .It all exists in parts – inserted.

G.V.Prakash who plays Peter establishes relevance and he can owe it both to his gradual evolutions as an actor and his progress as a profound Musician .

Elango Kumaravel vanishes and reappears , struggling to leave an effect .The inserted parts come with no highlights of the father’s take on the bond his son develops with the icon.
Nedumudi Venu as “Pallakad Vembu Iyer ” embodies the charisma in an excellent extensive way throughout.Vembu Iyer ‘s innate sense of humour finds its way out in his frustrations with students during training sessions and stands out as an ice breaker with the master.The students get confused on whether their master is scolding them or praising them .That is his way ,his Nature.He doesn’t believe that carnatic music exists in an unadulterated form anywhere except in concerts.His reaction (- brief and brilliant )while watching his disciple perform in television is priceless.

There are others too who add up to the conflict – a fired employee with a sense of revenge ,a scheming TV Show host who sows the seeds for the Guru -Shishya bond’s destruction and rediscovery,an NRI who gives up PH.d admissions at Harvard to learn Mirudangam from Iyer but humbly quits due to his insecurities around the staunch ideals of his master.His stance towards the end is neither clear nor convincing.
Rajiv Menon did mention clearly that in this film of his ,love will merely serves a supportive factor.He added that it comes suddenly , suddenly turns and suddenly turns deep.It is all so sudden and soiled with a segment on stalking too.It is more of a supplement than a support that doesn’t make it any taller , stronger and sharper but it does give way to Maya Manamohana ,a mystical Melody composed by Rahman and is the last song penned by the legendary Na.Muthukumar .
His words and work that extend beyond his breath are a loud reminder on the eternity of art.
The heroine’s talk which was written intending to be poetic ,after the session of love making, transcends Peter in search of Nature’s music .Instances of this sort suggests that Peter largely draws it all from the people around him.This renders the lead passive and leaves us devoid of the spirits displayed with the active voice over of his that accquaints us with the film.
A.R.Rahman ! The name says it all and the music speaks for itself.It is of course , a musical wonder.
“Varlaaama Un Arugil ” is a favorite ,a song that seeps into the soul urging you to listen to it , with eyes closed.The visual and emotional beat of it fail to live up to the nature of the song .It feels as if everything happened in a reflex and the space for the intensity isn’t spread well.Peter musters up guts with the aid of Rum, gets to Vembu Iyer ‘s house the same night ,makes a first impression with dreams suspended in dejection.He doesn’t give up .He persists and wakes up to the song at the end of which he nears his Guru.
When the song arrives again post interval,it really gets you!
When I hear people walking out of the auditorium telling ,” Music kaaga than da intha padame ( This film is just for music )” ,I am partly convinced on how Rajiv Menon has achieved his intentions despite that it would have been better to hear ” Music than Padame “( Music is the film here ).
This is a divergence post the note of creative and emotional convergence with which the movie ends.In a broader sense ,the convergence is the coming together of two classes in the Society – the elite and the emaciated , accepting and embracing one another and this makes Sarvam Thaala Mayam a tale of unity in diversity that highlights art , especially music as the means to attain the virtue of union.
Sarvam Thaala Mayam -A good to watch Guru Shishya tale weaved through mesmerizing Mirudangam beats .It is moving ,not momentous!

Ek ladki koh dekah toh aisa laga – Usual,crowd friendly yet unique and heartening


With the trailer of Ek ladki Koh deka to aisa laga , I was anticipating yet another Bollywood romance and was quite unaffected by ” The most unexpected romance of the year ” tagline it came with.I was just hoping that it doesn’t become a Namaste England .The title track hooked on to me and has never left is grip.I happened to note an article on a newspaper that outlined the theme the film was centered around.

I revisited the trailer. A silhouette of two women pulled apart forcibly by men in turbans and women in salwars.A girl resting her shoulder on an other as she remarks ,” What is the magic of true love when there aren’t any complications?” ,and a girl in yellow salwar extending her hand to the one in green silk as the title goes : How I felt when I saw that girl! It is a Bollywood story but of two women in love- a touch of goosebumps and buoyancy hit the heart.The film however is also about a young playwright who is struggling with his writing and meets the girl who adds magic to his story and life.He rescues her ,chases her from Delhi to Moga ,falls heads over heels in love with her only to find that her orientation towards love is different.Her love has been mocked at and shamed ,it had remained a secret and a guilt .The confession comes only in the interval followed by loud streaks of laughter.The vulnerability Sonam displays as Sweety explains all the loneliness she has been doomed to. The young girl prays the Lord that she be reformed.She is overrideen by guilt and helplessness regarding her love ‘s direction that is stigmatized as disease. She braces herself to compromise for the smiles of her loving Punjabi family that has raised her and her brother with an innate sense of conventional discrimination – her’s is a family that happily hops together to click a selfie with designer jalebi ,a family where men aren’t allowed inside a kitchen exempting situations when the oven needs a fixing .Well ,now you can imagine the odds that go into seeking acceptance for Sweety’s love .Anil Kapoor ,from fighting with his mother for the TV remote , cooking stealthily in the kitchen to exploding on what is normal towards the climax adds meaning and amusement to his part as Sweety’s Beloved rich Punjabi Father.His flirtations with Juhi are a delightful charm that overflows with genuinity and innocence.Raj Kumar Rao,redefines the part of an aspiring writer who is fulfilled that he has found a friend than a girlfriend.More power to his rescue and awareness mission !He leaves Moga ,not in despair but contentment.Thanks to the lack of the baseless, passionate lover boy in him who could have added drama with Ek ladki Koh deka to aisa laga Melody playing as he bids bye to Sweety from the train.
We have all the essential humour to make us laugh – humor that is relevant and not largely distracting .The presence of the same makes this unexpected romance a special rom-com couched on a sensitive theme.
The prominent people in the film are all dreamers .We have Shahil Mirza ,the struggling playwright who dreams of becoming a good writer , Chatro ,a cheerful woman who follows her heart’s call and pursues her dream of acting,the garment business tycoon who has a flair for the art of cooking.And ,of course ,we have the dream of Sweety that is mistaken as a disease.The dreams are kept alive throughout and their happy endings leave our heart warm.
When Sweety hides from her brother in Shahil’s theatre ,Shahil assures her that there is no place better than a theatre to hide from oneself and the world.It is the same theatre that frees Sweety of the chains tied to her love and enables her unravel the truth.
The portions of romance between the lovely women appear only in montages and one ends up rooting largely for the family’s acceptance of Sweety’s love than her union with the lover.The amour is summed up in a two minute song that has relied on the melody to uplift the underlying emotions.
Shahil promises the Chaudary family a play that owns fresh flavour .He narrates the gist : ” Two are deeply in love.Their families don’t approve of their bond.The couple fight it all out and live happily ever after.”
What is so fresh in this age old love story asks Sweety ‘s grandmother.The same question that hit me when I watched the film’s trailer the first time .What if the two in love are women? – this is the unique aspect of Mirza’s play and this film.
Yet,this is no story that will have a happily ever after.It is a love that must toughen up and battle.
It is definitely gladsome to witness the small world of Sweety in Moga letting love be.It is a happy note that our hearts wish could come true in the nation where Section 377 was scrapped only the last year.
This is a good attempt , a welcome one indeed which creates a short feel good movie that arrives at the surface of same -sex love ,safely and unapologetically distancing itself from larger battles involved.Hope the world lets love be.
Julie Anne Peters wrote :
Cut the ending.Revise the script.The man of her dreams is a girl.

When you do the same to Bollywood movies that mark the affairs of the heart ,you get Ek ladki koh dekah toh Aisa Laga.It is usual ,crowd friendly but unique and heartening.