If the phrase ‘It is easier said than done’ applies to anyone, it is the modern woman who faces a very unique battle. The modern-day woman might be armed with liberal thoughts and progressive ideas, the zest to be independent, but she also comes bearing years of social conditioning. After lifetimes of being told how to sit, how to walk, how to think, what to speak, what to aspire for, what to wear etc, suddenly we realise the unfairness of it all. Thus begins the journey of rebellion, one baby step at a time. Your brain knows that you have got this right, but there are moments when doubts creep in. After all, the most painful accusations come from close quarters. This later builds into anger and frustration which gives way to a space of indifferent peace.
If you had watched #GodhiBannaSadharnaMykattu, it would be tough to sit through #60VayadhuMaaniram, the Tamil remake starring #VikramPrabhu, #Indhuja and #PrakashRaj.
One of the major reasons why I had loved the Kannada original (starring #RakshitShetty and #SruthiHariharan) was its practicality and subtlety. We don’t spell a lot of things out loud in our families. If I go hug my mom, she feels awkward. We don’t express several things, that doesn’t however mean a lack of emotions. And in case of #Godhi, this non-engagement leads to apathy. His father becomes something that has to be taken care of, a box to be ticked on a checklist. Rakshit Shetty’s portrayal of a son’s journey to find his father (in all ways) is truly a revelation. From the initial standoffish stance to being guilt-stricken, his emotions unfold organically.
What I couldn’t tolerate was #Radhamohan’s ‘over-simplication’ of this process. His dialogues and Ilayaraja’s music constantly instruct us what to feel and ends up as an overreach. Also, Vikram Prabhu is no match for Rakshit Shetty. And as much as I love Indhuja, Sruthi’s performance was more layered, more nuanced.
To take an example, the beautiful childhood drawing Rakshit and his father creates is naturally chaotic, with no drawn boundaries. On the other hand, in Vikram Prabhu’s case, it’s nearly packaged into a box, highlighted with a lighter background. I think this shows enough of the different approaches taken by these directors to the same story.
I found America Mappillai, ZEE5’s original Tamil web series produced by Trendloud, to be an interesting bag of moments. The story revolves around an America-return guy Ganesh (Arjun Chidambaram) who lies about his sexuality to avoid the arranged marriage scene his father is trying to get him into. While the story and its characters are refreshingly fresh, what America Mappillai lacks is depth. More effort has been put in writing beautiful moments than in writing a fleshed-out story. It ends up being counterproductive – the overreach in these moments make it feel a tad stagey rather than organic. We get that the two men make a good pair.