My hands are itching. Literally. I am just back home after watching OK Kanmani and before I could even freshen up, here I am in front of my laptop, feeling elated and happy with a compelling urge to pen down those poetic, picturesque, musical and magical two hours that I had in the theatre this morning. I won’t be a fair critic when I review this movie right now because I am in a kind of trance that’ll take some time to wear off. What can I say, after my kids go to bed tonight, my husband is going to have one hell of a romantic time with me. That’s what the movie has done to me, to us. The romantic man is back. Mani Ratnam unleashed, yet again.
Rest assured, this post is not a spoiler. Even if I did write down the story word to word, that wouldn’t spoil anything for you because no matter what I tell or how I tell, I cannot compete with the brilliance of Mani Ratnam, P C Sreeram and A R Rehman together. This is a movie that cannot be said. It has to be felt. It has to be experienced.
Tamil cinema often confuses lust and love as romance. When our body craves for someone, it is lust. When our heart seeks out someone, it is love. But, when we lie down in bed alone, wearing the unwashed T-shirt of our sweetheart, smelling fragrance in sweat and feeling presence in absence, that is romance, my friend. OK Kanmani is hundred percent undiluted youthful romance, tastefully mixed and elegantly served, topped with nuts and cream. It wouldn’t give you the kick of a Vodka but it will seep into you with the fineness of wine, fermented for fifteen years, fermented from Alaipayuthey to now.
Hey boys, don’t you think it is a girly-girly movie. Not at all. It is for all the youthful souls out there. For all the non-judgmental, non-cultural-fanatic, non-hypocritical and open-minded youths out there. I watched Vogue’s My Choice viral video a couple of days ago and I felt that the leading lady of this movie, Thara, played by Nithya Menon is more empowered than Deepika Padukone. She doesn’t say it in so many words. She is living it, boldly, cheerfully and very important, happily by her own terms. With her big eyes, charming smile and smart acting, she is such a welcome relief after seeing look-alike glam dolls and the dupatta-pinned-up-ladies for heroines. As a woman myself, I cannot help falling in love with her. Guys, stay alert!
And Dulquer Salmaan, gosh, he is heart-throbbing. Why is that not a big surprise? Because, all Mani Ratnam’s leading men have been known to cause insomnia in young women and Dulquer is no exception. He is handsome. Not in a six pack bulging, punch-dialogue-speaking, stunt pulling kind of way but more like an extremely enthusiastic, playful and naughty boy who knows how to sweep his lady off her feet. I am thirty, mother of two and trust me, I am drooling already (oops, sorry hubby 🙂 ). A perfect blend of Mouna Raagam Karthick and Alaipayuthey Madhavan. As for Prakash Raj and Leela Samson, whatever I say would be an understatement. So simply, wow, just wow! What a star cast in this film! Everyone fits in and everyone knows what he or she is doing because Mani Ratnam knows it for all of them.
PC Sreeram’s camera has done what it always does. The best. And A R Rehman, we’ve all heard his album, every song an experiment of its own, every song an addictive narcotic. Do I even have to talk about it? Do one thing. Listen to it. And if I am right, whatever it is that you do in the next two days, you’ll be mumbling the song along, involuntarily. What I liked the best in the movie was the short, smart and witty dialogues. The dialogues won’t make us roll on the floor, laughing out aloud but we get tickled now and then and we giggle. And giggle, we’ll do pretty often.
People compare it with Alaipayuthey. Some even call it Alaipayuthey 2. Yes, there are scenes which remind us of Alaipayuthey, more like a nostalgic thing as quoted by Mani Ratnam himself but this movie is not Alaipayuthey. I don’t think we should even be comparing because Mouna Raagam and Alaipayuthey, each belonged to it’s own time and belonged beautifully. This one is for today. Divya of Mouna Raagam was different from Sakthi of Alaipayuthey. So is Thara of OK Kanmani. Each character lived in a different phase of the same society that is still gradually opening up to changes. Each character is bold and bubbly for the time that it lived or lives. Mani Ratnam, the creator of them all, has created them well.
I am sure there will be folks here and there, condemning and commenting on the morality of the theme of the movie and I am just hoping that none of those who complain belong to under forty age group. If they do, then they will become ancient in another couple of years. The man who made this movie has carefully unveiled the shimmery curtain that separates the human emotions of love – Infatuation, lust, love and life, in that order. That my dear is how it is in real life. We could go on pretending chastity, purity, virginity, whatever, but OK Kanmani in one word is honesty. Just as it is in reality today. Just as how it should be for a healthy, romantically and sexually satisfied society.
I enjoyed the movie, thoroughly. This would be one of the movies that I’d like to have in my collection to watch whenever I feel like, to watch when I want to feel good. I would watch it again, for sure. I would watch it over the years. I would watch it just like that.