April 1, All Fools’ Day as well as a chance to start writing as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. The theme as always is cinema. Cinema that inspires, entertains, offers radically new ideas, opens up our minds to look at life with a different perspective. So without any further attempts at boring you with half-baked thoughts; let us start this year’s edition with “A for Aval Appadithan”
Aval Appadithan – “She is like that only”
The 70s and the French new-wave cinema that was finding its way into India began to inspire a number of people. Kamal was at the peak of his powers with reports stating that he simultaneously worked on 20 projects. Rajinikanth was making his presence felt and the trio of Kamal, Ananthu(a human encyclopaedia of cinema) and the director C.Rudhraiya decided to make a movie with the Godard touch. With a story by Somasundhareshwarar, dialogues by Ananthu, music by Illaiyaraja and a group of young graduates from the MGR Film Institute, started a project that continues to remain an essential tale of feminine liberation and independent thinking!
The star cast comprised Kamal, Rajini, Sripriya and Saritha in key roles. Sripriya got a brilliant role, a character that any current actress would sink her teeth in with gusto. Sadly the jokers at the helm in today’s money-spinning enterprise want alabaster-shaded imports from up-north, the stars are insecure as always, the hero-heroine age-gap scares the living daylights and is largely true of cinema across the country.
Sripriya plays Manju a fiercely independent woman whose cynical attitude towards men is influenced by a philandering mother and a timid father. She does not believe in the sanctity of relationships and has a lust-fuelled relationship with a guy who calls her sister in front of his parents!
The sheer irony of life! She confides in Arun and says – “He could have called me a whore, I wouldn’t have cared, but he called me his sister!!”
She works in an ad-agency of sorts with Rajini as Thyagu playing her boss, the perfect suited-booted, upper-class, arrogant, male chauvinist. He aces the role to perfection. Kamal plays Arun a man who has arrived to shoot a documentary on women. Sparks fly, Arun falls for Manju, there is an angle with Thyagu vying for Manju as well. Watch the movie to figure out what happens and who marries Manju at the end!
There’s a lovely song in the movie –
– essentially contemplates on relationships being a story that continues in chapters!
Saritha plays an interesting role and if I write anything further, the suspense will be lost. It is imperative that I quote the closing lines offered as a voice-over in the movie – sheer poetry — “She died today. She will be reborn tomorrow. She will die again. She will be reborn again. That is how she is”.
I leave you with the climax —
– An economy of words, crisp writing, when cinema had class, a time gone by, shall we witness those glory days again? Meaningful, sensible cinema, which does not insult the intelligence of the viewer?