A dreamy love story, a little sweet romance, realistic approach to life’s problems, technical brilliance and a stellar narrative! All these distinctive ingredients combined, and voila! You get Mani Ratnam’s O Kadhal Kanmani. A film where Mani Ratnam stamps, puts a seal and delivers his trademark style of filmmaking – a style which his fans endured and longed for! With a quirky twist in his tale, Mani Ratnam gives you an enduring love story. A sweet and breezy tale that makes O Kadhal Kanmani seem like a visual poetry.
His last outing in the romance genre dealt with love and life of a married couple. 15 years later, he delivers a film on a similar theme but does this while keeping in mind the situation of the current generation. His new outing takes a spin on infatuation, live-in relationships whist portraying a tale of an older couple.
In all of his films, Mani Ratnam portrays the characterization of each family well. Unlike Alaipayuthey, the problem in this love story isn’t about the rich and poor divide. It highlights the protectiveness the parents feel towards the child. An affluent and rich family approve of their daughter’s boyfriend as ‘The only problem is that he’s middle class but the boy is good, so that shouldn’t be a problem’. That’s when you know there’s more to this tale. So what is the problem? The conflict arises when the Adi and Tara begin to fear about their future. Bizarre? Well, giving away any more information would spoil the fun of watching the film, and we don’t want to ruin it.
Despite the buzz surrounding new-age love, Mani Ratnam’s portrayal of an older couple in this film is beautiful. Infusing light humor and heart-tugging dialogues in simple situations, he shows us why he is a class apart! We smile at Ganapathy and Bavadharani amma’s sweet romance, we smile at Adi and Tara’s cheeky conversations, and we also join them in this dreamy world. We also see the tension and chaos in their lives. Skilfully balancing between these two lives, the filmmaker gives us a lot of positivity in this tale. His team manages to keep the old-world charm by beautifully depicting the city of Bombay. P.C Sreeram’s camerawork gives us a glimpse of the city’s intricate architecture and it bustling life. The lovely cold tone and the use of warm colors gives the film an old-world charm.A.R. Rahman gives us music with brilliant variety! While he gives us a fast techno number with Kara Attakara, he also gives us a soul-stirring Carnatic number.
Dulquer and Nithya Menen are a house-on-fire! Their chemistry and vibe is crackling and very vivacious. A perfect casting. Dulquer looks dapper and draws you with his charm. Looking absolutely cute, Nithya Menen is superb! Credits to the costume designer for the lovely choice of clothing. Another highlight in this film is the performance by Prakash Raj and Leela Samson. Playing the role of a caring and compassionate man, Prakash Raj speaks volumes with only his body language. His patience while dealing with his absent-minded wife looks so real, that you’re completely drawn into it. The kind of vibe these characters brings into the film, makes it a fantastic watch.
The film doesn’t want to sell you the concept of a live-in relationship neither does it force us to stick to the traditional concept of marriage. The beauty of this film lies in defining the concept of love. The leads in this film are transparent, honest, vulnerable and trust each other. Love does not boast, it does not envy and it’s not jealous, and perhaps that’s what the film wishes to convey. When two people sincerely love each other, the romance never fades! Mani Ratnam gives you all these qualities in one movie, that proves why he is an undisputed filmmaker!
Why should you watch this film?
Watch this film for its lovely story and technical brilliance. Fans of Mani Ratnam will watch this film and agree that the director is back with a bang!