CK AND MM AT THE MOVIES: O KADHAL KANMANI
Moderate Manohar approached the end of the corridor with much hesitation, in his hands was an envelope, the fine-ness of it indicated its foreign nature. As the door creaked to an open, he could see Caustic head down on the table, the room only filled with the soft electronic buzz of an unsaved word document.
“CK, the appointment has come….” Began Mod quite loudly.
MM: CK, the appointment has come!
MM: the appointment from Chicago Sun Times, it came in the mail just now.
CK< widens smile>: IS it? Wow when are we leaving?
MM: Not we.
MM: It’s only me they want, as in…they can only accommodate me right now.
<A little background here, CK and MM quite fed up with their lives in Chennai had applied for the post of resident movie reviewers in Chicago, although CK was sceptical about working abroad, he finally realised its importance and was quite looking forward to it, now everything had just fallen flat for him>
CK took a moment, or maybe even shorter than that to recover and went ahead and patted MM on the shoulder.
CK: “Great, you are taking this up right?”
The room was again filled with MM’s hesitation and the soft electronic buzz.
Some higher power intervened in the form of the editor who barged in unannounced like he owned the place, in fact he did.
“CK!MM!, OKK review on my table, fifteen minutes, already every major media and everyone with a Facebook account has already written a lot about it. We shouldn’t miss out.” The editor walked out with the same pace.
MM: Let’s discuss the movie first, later perhaps…
CK: Nevermind…whenever it suits you.
MM: Should we start with the bit about how bold Mani Ratnam is, making a film on live-in relationships?
CK: No….this isn’t about that, I mean at least I feel so, it isn’t.
MM: Should I wait for you to tell what’s it about?
CK: It is about validation of love, this whole live in relationship thing is to keep it all contemporary and all that… you know like that skype call and the iPad song
MM: So contemporary that they have T.M Krishna’s latest book “A Southern Music” in the shelf somewhere in PrakashRaj’s house
CK: Understandable, considering the fact that Leela Samson plays an Alzheimer’s affected Carnatic singer, oh my god their walls are the same colour as the zari of the Kanchipuram sarees that these singers wear for concerts, so much richness. Also Thanjavur painting, it is the stuff upper middle class dreams are made of
MM: let’s come to the production design bits later, let us get back to the validation of love part, I think that this is a new concept, the exploration of live-ins
CK: No..no ..Mod, that’s what the director wants you to believe, to linger on the surface, the whole movie is about Tara and nobody else. Tara is the updated version of the Mouna Raagam Revathy.
MM: hmm..wild, willing to break rules and attracted to rash lover boy types and bored with domesticity etc…
CK: exactly, but she is also in a way the Agni Nakshatram Nirosha, not giving a damn because of a troubled past. Tara here hates marriage because her parent’s divorce affects her even now.
MM: But she falls for Aadi….they both fall for each other.
CK: Yes, but she never thinks much of him, atleast he is thankfully never full of himself, he just says “he will become rich like Gates etc”, she doesn’t think much of his game development career also when compared to her overtly passion filled love for architecture, she really doesn’t want anything serious.
MM: so when she really does realise she loves him anyway, he is about to go and he has already done something, but still she will only want him to say it. < “Marriage”>
CK: Yes enough instances to prove that this is a Tara fuelled relationship and not a flirty boy meets serious girl cute love story. First call back, first kiss even, all initiated by Tara.
MM: I see…where this is going, but what about Bhavani and Ganapathy, where do they actually fit in?
CK: they are clear examples for Tara to believe that a traditional relationship can work, she seems to be the one who is most affected by the happenings in their lives. Again a validation that she requires for secure love, in the end she isn’t clear about her career.
MM: So this is how is it going to be written? I mean this line of thought?
CK: What other is there? Isn’t this plain as daylight?
MM: No…no…what about the actors? The setting…the music and PC’s camera work, he seems to have let out this beast of a camera on this couple and the writing itself?
CK: Isn’t it what the others will also be saying? Mumbai trains and rains, mornings with pigeons flying, tastefully lighted blanket interiors and characters who alternate between sophistication and words of yore (“ummanamoonji! Kadavul”), the director’s insistence that friends of protagonists be as beautiful as them, etc, isn’t it what the others will also be writing or already written? OK we can write such stuff as well.
MM: Hmm..yes I think, I haven’t read any of them…in totality I liked the film, even from this love-validation-security angle you are coming from
CK: that’s the only angle I like the film from, and also Nitya Menen’s eyes.
MM: Surely we will throw in a bit about Nitya Menen’s eyes and what about Mani Ratnam’s comeback?
CK: What about it?
The editor walked in again, looked at the manuscript and said, “Throw in a few words about Nitya Menen’s eyes and about Mani Ratnam’s comeback, also meet-cute love story of our times etc”
MM: Yes sir, it’s there
Editor: Good, good Manohar, so this will be your final filing for my magazine…congrats on your appointment in Chicago. As for you CK, you are stuck with me for life.
CK: That, I am, sir.
CK went back to his table to file the final copy, but in the ruckus that the foreign appointment had created, he forgot to mention that the video game within the movie had a more interesting storyline than the movie itself and about The Shining reference he had caught in the film.
It was at this time MM said, “We need to talk”