Aadai might have opened the Pandora’s box of debates but it received unanimous appreciation for its top-notch cinematography that embodied the ‘dignified gaze’. In an industry notorious for objectification, this film is unique in how it showed a woman’s nudity in a respectful light. Ask Vijay Kartik Kannan, the cinematographer, and he says with an honest smile that it was a team effort. Here, he talks about Aadai, his third film after Sindhubaadh and Iravakaalam, about the need to maintain rapport with the director and how big a part budget plays in cinematography…
Aadai begins by narrating the story of Nangeli — a woman from an oppressed community who protested against Breast Tax, a sickening practice of asking women from the oppressed communities to pay if they wanted to cover their breasts. In a brief animated sequence, Aadai shows Nangeli’s rebellion and about how she cut off her breasts in protest and eventually died fighting against the practice. The sequence ends by saying that all the rights we enjoy have a blood-stained history. One would think, with a title like Aadai and such an empathic start that the film would address the intricate, layered politics behind clothing. We could not be more wrong.
While Vijay’s ‘Mersal’ might be the talk of the town right now, there is another movie that is silently creating waves. The dark horse of the season, ace director Karthik Subbaraj’s first feature production ‘Meyaadha Maan’ has received glorious feedback from critics and audience, resulting in a steady growth in number of screens across the state. Helmed by Rathna Kumar, ‘Meyaadha Maan’ has actor Vaibhav in the lead. As the stage singer ‘Idhayam Murali’, Vaibhav’s on-point North Madras accent and organic performance has earned him a lot of laurels. The slang came to him naturally, says Vaibhav as he talks to indianexpress.com. “I was born and raised completely in Madras, so the slang is not new to me.” However he also confesses that he prepared to play the role of a stage singer. “I watched a lot of stage performers before shooting for those scenes. I got an idea of their body language by seeing videos of their performances,” he reveals. Continue reading “We were nervous about releasing Meyaadha Maan along with Mersal: Actor Vaibhav”
There is a wry sense of humour in debutante Rathna Kumar’s answers, something we get to see in his film as well. His first feature film, Meyaadha Maan is having a dream run at the theatres, thanks to the positive reviews and the word of mouth the film has garnered. Similar to the movie, the humour highlights the clarity in his thoughts and rationale. An interesting example would be the way Rathna Kumar narrates how he decided the subject for his short film Madhu, which has now been made into Meyaadha Maan. “When you take a short film, the resources available are limited. And the access is limited to people belonging to our age group. Thus, the intention was to create a script that caters to that specific group. ‘Ukkandha edathulaye vaayala vada suttu oru short film pananum’ (The film should be made using minimum resources),” says Rathna Kumar. Continue reading “Meyaadha Maan director Rathna Kumar: We wanted Address Song to bring an end to female-bashing numbers”
As a cinephile, there are movies you root for; films that you feel will bring a fresh voice into the realm with some aspect of their craft. Sometimes they become disappointments. But there is a quiet sense of satisfaction when it turns out to be good. The contentment is personal as if you have achieved a feat and want to make sure that the world knows about it. I walked out of Meyaadha Maan with that sense of contained contentment. Continue reading “Meyaadha Maan movie review: Vaibhav Reddy-Rathna Kumar’s Royapurathu La La Land is a lovely watch”