I know it is quite late, quite can be substituted to mean more than a year and I have nothing but my stupidity to blame for it. After much arguments and an unusually tired day I watched Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya( will you cross the skies <for me>? shouldn’t there be a question mark somewhere)
I hit my head with my own hand after a few minutes into the film, It is not my opinions on Mr. Menon really matters nor does my inherent dislike to mountains of sweetness and sadness love stories, which I was expecting and as usual I was wrong.
Most of Menon’s films begins with a voice over by the protagonist, in VTV it is Karthik who while sitting almost tear eyed asks around why he chose Jessi of all the women in the world, a similar observation was made by Humphrey Bogart in a much loved 1942 film but that concerned gin joints too but essentially the same thought. Emotions are universal, there is no logic involved. Logic came into the movies only as to propel stories into an ending, but VTV defies conventional storytelling.
I remember during one of the promotion interviews, the director himself humbled his film as ‘one line story’ and that talking about would only be a giveaway, but what does one expect in a love story?
Rephrasing the question what should one expect in a love story? Should it be an encyclopedic and complex plot winding and winding till there is a climactic moment at a mountain top or river bridge? Or should it have extremely loveable lovers and tinsel free love.
Ironically the part of the film is actually about Karthik getting a break in films and yet the content would put ‘realistic’ directors to shame, personally never having realized any romantic relationship I felt if this what love is all about then I’m all game for it.
Never mind the age difference, never mind the opposite religions. These are just to bring about a storm between the leads just like the emigration papers in Casablanca, it could have been anything. The problem could have been about the naming of their dog to create a rift; the film would still have been great. Karthik and Jessi would have fallen in love even otherwise, it was written; not by the director but something a higher force which brings together and separates people at will. This is what a love story should be about, lovers and their love. Not their problems, everything else should be given minimum importance.
Never has music went so well with the visuals, it seems as though the camera composed the notes while filming the water, especially the hollowness of ‘Aaromale’ which also acts as the main leitmotif is simply amazing and the sudden burst of the Nadaswaram in ‘Anbil avan’ adds to the mystery that is music and the experiments of Rahman, in the same song Thamirai writes the most poignantly happy lines
‘Nee vanavil aaga,aval vanam ezhaaga,
andha vaanam veedaga maaradho maaradho’
The above appears as the refrain in the song, pointing the few happy moments between the lovers and how ‘their’ world celebrates it, the simply genius poetry takes the film to (use the word again) poetic heights along with the sadness of the ending, the sadness which splatters on the screen, a display of Karthik’s loss. Indeed sadness is infectious than happiness, but this sorrow is not only mind narrowing but uplifting, uplifting that unseen air which seems to rise from the heart. If it is not uplifting, then is it love?
Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya is a film about love.