Right from the word go, you know that Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum is not about people who are politically correct. We are introduced to Gautham (a powerfully convincing Harish Kalyan), who is searching for his lost soul in the mountains. And we are let into his introspection, as he ponders over his relationship with his Idhaya Rani. Gautham wears his baggage on the sleeve. It doesn’t take much to realise that he is broken, bearing the brunt of trauma. He swings between extremes, has temperament issues. But Ranjith Jeyakodi calls a spade, a spade. There is no glorification of Gautham’s toxic masculinity — an errant dialogue comes from a friend who changes her mind later. Right from his friends to Tara (Shilpa Manjunath), everyone knows Gautham is difficult. So do we, and that makes IRIR an extremely important film. Continue reading “Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum review: A complicated romance that doesn’t pretend to be anything else”
Ranjit Jeyakodi’s first film, Puriyatha Puthir, was anything but your average stereotypical love story, the darkness stemming from everything from its colour palette to its music. The title of his second, Ispade Raajavum Idhaya Raaniyum (IRIR), conjures up an image breezy romance, fuelled by the intimacy of the leads in its poster, and Harish Kalyan’s own chocolate boy image. But the film’s trailer was surprisingly intense and grim. He responds with a laugh when I ask him about his fascination with ‘dark romances’. “The idea isn’t to show the dark side of love. It is more about taking love seriously, to approach it with intimacy and depth,” he says, explaining that IRIR will be about relationships and their tribulations.
As a child, several of Kollywood’s motifs used to puzzle me. For example, how do fathers and sons look identical in films except for a dash of grey in the former? (A trend heavily popularised by Shivaji Ganesan and Supreme Star Sarathkumar.) In this week’s release Kaali, Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi gives an interesting take on why this happens. Vijay Antony (Bharat) is an NRI doctor who comes to India in search of his biological parents. In the journey, he listens to the stories of men who could be his prospective fathers. The first time the film gets into the flashback mode, we see a younger Madhusudhanan Rao (who is narrating the story). “Indha face a student a imagine panni kuda paka mudila,” says Yogi Babu and then we see Vijay Antony assume the role in the flashback. I realised that Vijay Antony’s several looks are a choice of convenience and of course, with some creative relevance as well. Continue reading “Kaali movie review: This Vijay Antony film is a shallow tale about estranged love”