If you like romances, you should not miss this one!
Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Nithya Menen, Prakash Raj, Leela Samson
Director: Mani Ratnam
Aditya aka Adi (Dulquer Salmaan) arrives in Mumbai to take a new job in a computer games company. His dream is to move to the USA and earn in dollars. He’s from a middleclass family and has been brought up by his elder brother. Adi moves into Ganapathy’s (Prakash Raj) home in Girgaum as a paying guest. Ganapathy lives with his wife Bhavani (Leela Samson) who suffers from Alzheimer’s.
Adi attends a friend’s wedding where he meets Tara (Nithya Menen). Tara lives in a ladies’ hostel and works for a private company. The two get along like a house on fire and realise that neither of them believes in marriage. They decide to get into a live-in relationship. Ganapathy is conservative and refuses at first to allow Tara to move into Adi’s quarters. But soon, the young couple manage to persuade him.
The story goes on to show the relationship between not just Adi and Tara but also their equation with the older Ganapathy and Bhavani. But can Adi and Tara continue with their live-in relationship? She has a mother who is rich and powerful and wants her daughter under her thumb; while he has a brother, sister-in-law and a school-going niece. Will they accept them for what they are? And what will happen if Adi moves to the US at the first opportunity?
Mani Ratnam has directed a number of films over the past few decades. While most of them were successful, there were a few duds too. One can never be sure what to expect from his films. I like his film Guru the most. So, when O Kadhal Kanmani (also known as OK Kanmani) was released, I didn’t show too much interest in seeing it – until my neighbour and friend told me that it’s a light and breezy romance. That’s when Venkat and I decided to see the film. I was surprised to see the number of North Indians in the theatre. Luckily, the film had subtitles making it easy for them to understand what was happening.
Dulquer Salmaan (Actor Mammooty’s son) is a well-known star in the Malayalam film industry I believe. He looks handsome and he can act too. His role as Adi was a walk through and couldn’t have been more naturally portrayed. Kudos!
Nithya Menen as Tara is too cute for words. She’s another actress who’s as natural as can be. She has acted in a lot of films in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. Nithya’s perfect as Tara – as the daughter who’s doing her best to be independent of her dominating mother; as a career woman; as a lover; as a caring person who has befriended an Alzheimer’s patient and her husband. Congrats!
Leela Samson plays the role of Ganapathy’s wife Bhavani who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. This film is her debut. She’s simply awesome as the lovely woman who adores her husband; confused when she keeps forgetting things. Excellent role play!
I have saved the best for the last. Prakash Raj – I have seen him in so many different roles over the years – as a villain, as character actor, as a father, as an uncle and even as a God. He is a born actor. As Ganapathy, he is a strict disciplinarian when he takes Adi in as his paying guest. But you can see him thinking from his heart when the young man is able to swing him with his arguments. His love for his wife of more than four decades is commendable and it shows in every gesture of his. Amazing performance indeed!
The storyline is pretty simple and presented in an uncomplicated fashion. Yeah, as someone mentioned on facebook, there is no conflict. So what? O Kadhal Kanmani was a joy to watch with beautiful music and songs that don’t distract you from the flow of the film. The songs –lyrics by Vairamuthu and music by AR Rahman – were all lovely and pleasing on the ears. Running for 2 hrs and 18 minutes, the film was a breeze.
VERDICT: It’s a must watch you are fond of romances.