Jan 26, 2003

One of the aforementioned 6 included a long awaited viewing of Mani Ratnam's Alaipayuthey, thanks to a generous lending of CDs by Haripriya. I would call it a movie that is competently made in all departments, excelling in some, but never slipping below a threshold. There was no dilly-dallying, no unwanted digressions in the form of unrelated comedy tracks, no macha-machi talk that gets on to my nerves and nobody once went over the top! And it still did well, which proves that films with such unwanted stuff display a poor understanding of the craft. The acting was good and I thought Shalini's performance stood out. The dialogues had that quality of not being out of the ordinary, and the reactions to situations were not unbelievable.

A mention of the choreography (credited to Farah Khan), usually something that one looks out for in Mani Ratnam movies to see what he comes up with. Though one raves about Pachai Niramé, it was a typical Farah Khan song with Madhavan executing Pehla Nasha type leaps (both slow-motion songs). One may add that Pehla Nasha's breakthrough slow-motion choreography was itself inspired by Mani Ratnam's Dalapathi.
Snehithane seemed rather disappointing, reminding one of some songs from Thiruda Thiruda.
I would give the this-was-new award to Kadhal Sadhugudu, with its delightful fluttering of Shalini's tresses (long enough to be noticed!), her dupattas and other "wavy" items, lending a new meaning to Alaipayuthey perhaps. I would have loved to be on the sets during this song to learn how they did it.

On an associated note, one of my colleagues remarked this about Saathiya (I haven't seen that, but the comment was about the story, which is by all accounts unchanged from the original): "Where was the story? They fall in love, get married, have a fight, then get back together". Agreed, it wasn't a thriller and the end was never in question, but I'm sorry for him that he missed the story in this. Aren't incidents in life (even as common as this) worth a story? In fact, I believe that real life is much more interesting than a lot of stories that make it to the pages of a book or to celluloid. I bet I could make at least three movies based on events in my life! Also, most moviegoers unfortunately do not possess the tolerance for a more wider set of plots & themes. They are quick to dismiss based on past assumptions and one line plots heard secondhand from prejudiced observers. I agree that a large percentage of movies are worth the derision, but I have seen so many good movies being dismissed lightly without basis. Give 'em a chance, mateys.

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