The 5 movies in Amazon Prime Video India’s maiden Tamil anthology should not all equal, however they’re completely different and considerate in attention-grabbing methods.
In the hero-worshipping world of Tamil cinema, there’s a tyre-tearing gap of 1 factor: Authentic and relatable tales of on a regular basis individuals, who’re conflicted, susceptible, and imperfect. The one-off Pannayaarum Padminiyum or Aandavan Kattalai, whereas actually bringing the breath of recent air, don’t adequately fill the hole. Web and OTT had the chance, which they didn’t make a lot of. Until now.
Putham Pudhu Kaalai, an anthology of hope, presents a small however pleasant slice of atypical individuals’s lives. Without the pressures of making a grandiose narrative for a extremely paid hero, that usually accompanies mainstream cinema, the anthology focusses on human interplay — the intricacies of individuals’s behaviours which are as private as they’re common.
The 5 movies should not all equal, however they’re completely different and considerate in attention-grabbing methods. I actually can not select between Sudha Kongara’s Ilamai Idho Idho and Gautham Menon’s Avarum Naanum – Avalum Naanum.
A somewhat subversive and multi-layered play on Tamil cinema’s auspicious new 12 months’s tune, Ilamai Idho Idho captures the pedestrianness of relationships. Jayaram, who performs Rajiv embodies child-like pleasure, and starry-eyed romance. Urvashi, as Lakshmi, is delicately mischievous, convincing us that they could possibly be an incredible couple, even when now we have not seen a lot of them collectively in any respect. The telling of the story, imagining the couple as each younger and previous, is an intuitively intelligent strategy to make us really feel what the characters are feeling.
With tune, dance, wine, and moist towels, the movie celebrates love, so heartily that we can not however really feel pleased for the couple. And Kongara is aware of that real love is of the one who’s pleased to do the dishes!
In distinction, Avarum Naanum – Avalum Naanum is extra subdued. It is a couple of granddaughter who reluctantly arrives to ‘care’ for her grandfather and can’t anticipate it to be over. And the grandfather, who is keen, however hesitant to point out his love in its entirety. The thaatha, performed by MS Bhaskar, dropped at reminiscence my very own — it’s maybe the best way he says ‘right-o!’ — but in addition within the method of being one who has seen all the things, is sort of uninterested in life, and solely desirous to reside no matter is left of his, sharing love and blessings.
Ritu Varma — who we solely hear being known as ‘kanna,’ my most favorite endearment — is unmoved, distant, and outspoken in a manner solely grandparental relationships are. She doesn’t play thoughts video games and carry out self-flagellation, the best way youngsters usually do with their mother and father. She asks query somewhat straightforwardly, is keen to just accept any reply, and is pleased to know complexities. In an emotional scene between the 2, Gautham fantastically captures what an excellent dialog can do. He appears to inform us that once we assume good religion, it usually holds up.
There can also be a passing, however essential exploration of the patriarchy by means of the relationships between fathers and daughters. It doesn’t shout from the rooftops, nevertheless it doesn’t brush it beneath the carpet both. The cynic in me needs to protest the thought of inserting one’s hope on fatherly magnanimity, however the romantic in me needs to consider it. And that’s the success of each Reshma Ghatala, the author and Gautham himself.
I did want Gautham resisted the voiceover to ‘inform’ us the story of the household. A number of it was obvious with out it, actually. But, maybe, one thing’s gotta give.
Suhasini Maniratnam’s Coffee, Anyone? is the story of 4 ladies, in a fancy internet of familial discord. Each of them has their very own set of issues that’s so frequent for girls of their age and social place. Each of them struggles of their privilege. The two sisters, Valli and Saras, performed by Suhasini and Anu Hasan respectively, are rather a lot just like the Brahmin ladies of diaspora — they overwork, are obsessive about getting issues completed, don’t hesitate to make essential calls, however are general just a little dissatisfied with their lives. Ramya, performed by Shruti Hasan, is a extra city Brahmin girl, who can depart dwelling to discover a profession in music in Bombay, however seems like ‘an orphan’ whereas doing so.
This is to not say that Coffee, Anyone? just isn’t relatable or emotional. It is. Yet, it’s also instructed from a gaze of what I can solely name kindness for first world issues.
Rajiv Menon’s Reunion is attention-grabbing in the way it locations drug abuse inside a house. The non-judgmental, virtually saccharine strategy to it’s considerably inauthentic, identical to the neatly pressed shirts lining an open rack in Vikram’s room — in my home in Chennai, even the insides of the cabinet will get dusty, man!
Karthik Subbaraj does what he does greatest. His movie Miracle offers one other life to Arul Dass of Iraivi and a pre-donhood Assault Sethu of Jigarthanda in a state of affairs of divine intervention, set to quirky background music from the bygone period. It works extra as a unit in itself than it does as a part of an anthology, which in any other case restricts itself to tales of a sure social class, caste, and place.
Nuclear physicists, famend medical doctors, NRIs, musicians — four-fifths of Putham Pudhu Kaalai is in regards to the creme de la creme of Tamil society. These are individuals whose life modified in no vital manner due to the lockdown. In truth, these are tales of people that had the privilege of utilizing the lockdown to re-evaluate their lives and make it higher, despite what was occurring round them.
Adding to that, a lot of the work appears to have been completed inside shut circles as nicely — Suhasini employs an excellent a part of her circle of relatives in making her movie. Kalidas Jayaram, son of actor Jayaram, performs the son of Rajiv within the movie. Gautham, Rajiv, and Subbaraj return to collaborators from their previous.
In a movie shot inside constraints of time, finances and pandemic-related restrictions, creators appear to have naturally chosen each tales and colleagues nearer to dwelling. While I perceive why this occurred, it doesn’t provide me a lot hope, although.
In my opinion, the movies of Putham Pudhu Kaalai are relatable and transferring solely as a result of the filmmakers caught to narratives they knew nicely. But that’s all of the extra cause that we, as an viewers, ought to demand movies are made by filmmakers of various backgrounds. It is excessive time that we noticed narratives of Chennai (or Madras) exterior of filter espresso, Carnatic music, the Hindu crossword — and the token pickpocket.
Putham Pudhu Kaalai is streaming on Amazon Prime Video India.
Rating: ***half of
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