Friday, October 3, 2008

Kannathil Muthamittal - A kiss on the cheek

Just finished watching a movie which should be rated as one of the best i have seen till date. Kannathil Muthamittal - A kiss on the cheek

What an apt name for the movie. Probably one of the finest Mani Ratnam movies ever made. This guy needs to be saluted for his sheer genius. A tamil movie made about the Srilankan strife where no sides have been taken is a great sign of courage by the director.

The premise is relatively simple. An adopted girl in search of her biological mother and Justify Fullidealistic parents who help her in every step to grant her this wish. But what keeps this movie head and shoulders above anything else you have ever seen is that this is not about that girl - thats there just to keep the story moving - this is about a world where human life is reduced to nothing. Its about a world where the success is measured by the number of graves i was able to provide my brother who is now my enemy - hopefully that number is greater than mine. Where people fight for an ideology which ruins not just their lives but the lives of everyone who did not even wish to be part of it but are sucked into it. Where sometimes even ideology has died because it was given to a 10 year old who shot at its heart with his kalashnikov.

The story of the girl and her travels to the emerald island to find her mother is a moving one which has been handled brilliantly without any melodrama. The movie is a slightly long one at around 3 hrs but it probably needed this time. The best part about this movie is how natural it looks. The family life shown is like any other indian family and the romance so subtle. Something that will bring a smile to your lips is a great love song shot at scenic beaches and ragged ships on great salt farms but not between the lead pair but between the mother and the adopted daughter. Brilliant!!

The cinematography is excellent. Sri Lanka's beauty is captured in its raw essence. Its actually eerie to see beautiful parks and forests and amongst them just the shell of buildings. School Girls on cycles laughing like they do not have a care in the world and the next minute a gunfight at exactly the same place that looks so real that mentally you pary for their safety even though you know that its not real (or maybe it is!!!). Even the indian scenes are well captured. There is a scene where the young girl is running around in circles with her father in the centre and suddenly the father tells her that she is not their biological daughter. On hearing this she still keeps running around her father but now her happy carefree expression changes slowly as realization dawns on her. You go to movies to watch this...

Which brings us to the acting. Needless to say, Ratnam extracts superb performances from the various actors. Madhavan as the dad and Keerthana as the child are brilliant in the movie. Nandita Das in her small role potrays a great amount of character as the biological mother. She really looks the part as the Sri Lankan Tamil girl who goes through great turmoil in life. But the greatest of my applause is reserved for the fantastic Simran. The role essayed by her is really tough as that of a mother caught between wishing for her daughters happiness but at the sametime apprehensive of the steps that they have taken. Caught between the love for her adopted daughter while longing for her own sons too. This is one superlative performance.

And before i forget....the music...It seems that AR Rahman and Mani Ratnam are brothers. The music just knows how to follow the story and vice versa. The background score 'Vellai Pookal Ulagam' is haunting while the rest of the songs just simply fall into place.

A great movie which hopefully should make you wonder why do we fight when all we need to sort everything is to just kiss on the cheek...after all he is just your brother.

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