Thursday, August 30, 2007

Review - Shyamaprasad's Ore Kadal



I had been waiting for ‘Ore Kadal’ to release; right from the time the news about Shyamaprasad’s new movie based on Sunil Gangopadhyay’s novel ‘Heerak Deepthi’ started doing its rounds. Lot of things happened in between: Controversies involving novelist Subhash Chandran and Shyamaprasad, association of KR Meera in the script – but finally, the much-awaited movie released. Essentially ‘Ore Kadal’ analyses the intricate nature of human relationships through an in-depth portrayal of four complex and emotional characters. Making a movie that can belong to any contemporary time period/geography is a challenge of its own. Shyamaprasad can be proud of achieving just that.

Mammooty plays a renowned economist Dr. Nathan who does not believe in any emotional relationship, and trusts that his mind is not to be bound to any specific individual or liaison. The careless debonair of an alcoholic intellect and the overwhelming guilt of being dispassionate, looms over the character of Dr. Nathan. Mammooty portrays the divergent images that take his mind between a rough unemotional exterior, and a warm confused interior, with ease. Meera Jasmin plays Deepthi, a mother and housewife who has the strings of her mind being pulled by the isolation that she despairs to leap out of. Deepthi has a gentle psyche that brightens on the unexpected love it finds, moves into a frenzy as it evolves through lust and reaches a devastated stage where she is caught between the passions in her relationships. As a person who thought that Meera often goes over that narrow border between acting and overacting, I should acknowledge her phenomenal performance in 'Ore Kadal'. At times I feel that the class of an actor is not in expressing strong emotions for short durations, but is rather in displaying the subtle tenacity of light emotions with consistency – Meera has done just that. If she could win Urvashi for T V Chandran’sPaadam Onnu: Oru Vilaapam, this should be a cakewalk. Ramya Krishnan does a fantastic job as Bela, a very mature character. She acts as the alter ego of Dr. Nathan, which acknowledges the weaknesses of Nathan’s character and tries to let Nathan observe it. The bottomless melancholy of grief from the hard times of her life shines through the hazel eyes of Bela, through her occasional glance here and a short dialogue there. In a cast jaded by superstars, Ramya does her part without a lot of drumbeats and applause – quietly going about her job and all the while exemplifying that her acting skills stands much taller than item numbers. Naren stars as the husband of Deepthi, a normal middle class person who tries to make ends meet for his family and at times is reduced to be a mere spectator as the drama of life evolves.

For a movie that has most of its screen time indoors, the scope of impressing the people through camera work or technical gimmicks is almost negligible. Azhagappan accomplishes the near impossible - Using the light as a delicate background to the movie’s theme, and presenting some exquisite visuals. Editing a movie that moves between four diverse poignant characters, without the observer experiencing the turbulence of impulsive transitions requires a lot of skill, and the efforts from Vinod Sukumaran are laudable. The art direction and costumes made sure that the negligible space in Nathan’s flat was exploited to set up the careless slapdash attitude of his character. Unlike the so-called ‘mainstream’ movies, the music of 'Ore Kadal' had released devoid of ‘noise’, but it truly takes away the cake for being the vital part of the movie. Ouseppachan might have just made the best music of the year, especially handling the tough job of composing 4 different songs in the same raga ‘Subha Panthuvarali’ to match the moods of the movie.

Shyamaprasad has returned with a bang after his 'Akale', which did not strike the right chord with audience. Although Shyam has handed over the accolades to his remarkable cast, the movie is essentially teamwork – A rhythmic coordination of a team striving for perfection. And for that to happen, we need a director who has a lucid idea about his theme and an approach to let his audience perceive it. As a director, there are umpteen occasions where he could have slipped off that narrow ridge, and fallen into the deep gorges of overemotional melodrama, lust or vulgarity. Shyam stays away from all of it, distances himself from forcing any judgment on the viewers and most importantly facilitates a rare opportunity for the spectators to come up with their own verdicts on the deeds of the characters. I felt couple of glitches in the movie when common sense gave way to continuity, but then - what is perfect? Dealing with such a sensitive thread of infidelity and betrayal, which often presents that thin line of morality to the viewers, is a colossal challenge by its own. We see a director’s shining signature that was displayed with ease in Peruvazhiyile Kariyilakal and Agnisaakshi reaching its pinnacle during ‘Ore Kadal’. Be it in that symbolic frame that occasionally interludes to cast the image of a secluded electric pole where a lot of power lines meet & disperse to new directions, Be it in the revelation that there is a ferociously lashing sea of ‘Self’ between the shores named ‘You’ and ‘Me’.

The crowd expecting an outright 'masala' entertainer seeing the cast lines of Mammooty and Meera might be disappointed – as I could guess from the cat calls in the theatre. But, I regard a movie worthy if the mind lingers with the visuals and characters of the movie for days. 'Ore Kadal' has been so enticing that we could see ourselves standing next to Nathan & Deepthi, wandering in that dim apartment trying to reach that narrow frame of light through the balcony - all the while trying to come up with a conclusion on these complex yet amazing characters. That is exactly what I call triumph of a director and zenith of recognition for a movie.

Verdict – Recommended, with Two Thumbs Way Up!

40 comments:

muthu said...

This is the movie I really loved after a long time....You may have your own interpretation about many of the characters....But overall the movie is about human relations and the director was very successful doing the same.

akhil said...

Yeah, good movie.
True, there were continuity issues and I was rather, surprised to see that in a shyamaprasad movie.
But, as you said ... nothing is perfect.
When, we're watching the movie, just watch, and be done which it. You can analyze it later technically. I think, that way.
It'd some dialogues & situations that I really could identify with. That'd be where the movie wins, I guess.

Deepak Ramakrishnan said...

Haven't watched the movie... But from pomos, songs, writeups and music the movie is haunting me.. It's a very tighly written review. Thanks for sharing that firsthand feel from this movie!

Anonymous said...

Hi
Good observation and good point of view.
Keep it up
Thanks
Vinod Sukumaran

neermathalam said...

entha eyalde. ezhuthu...!!!
adipoli....as usual....
get me a review of thuvanathumbhikal...:).
for this padam: kanathathu kondu no abhiprayam....

Sunitha said...

I read this review and watched this movie today. I was very disappointed.Although the cast has given stellar performances especially meera, there was somehing lacking in this movie which made it an utter bore instead of the jewel that it should have been.Somehow , the relation between meera and mammotty develops too fast that we cannot digest or empathise with the characters. This movie is a tangled web of human emotions, righty as it should be , but as neither the director nor the audience seems to be able to escape from it. Opinions are srictly personal and not meant for offence.

jfn said...

while watching the movie, i cudnt get myself agree to the fact the deepthi fell in love with nathan. he just helped her twice and then she gets drawn to him. shyamaprasad seemed to be in a hurry to bring deepthi close to nathan. i personally feel that he shud hav given more time in that area, and shud have woven it out more beautifully.

what exactly had been troubling her during the sencond half? was it her guilt or was it her love.?

i wish to read the novel- may be then it wud have been more easy to understand the characters.

with the help of bella, shyamaprasad had succeeded in bringing out nathan's emotions, trauma ...
but deepthi still seems like untold

Tulip said...

The complexities of human relationships have been portrayed very comprehensibly and this makes Shyamaprasad different and versatile.

Dini said...

You couldn't have taken the words out of my mouth better. Excellent review with some interesting insights. I came across this post after googling for Ore Kadal(just watched it this evening). Very impressed with your keen sense of film and really getting to the crux of the matter. Great Work!

pophabhi said...

Muthu: You are absolutely right when you said that the interpretations of the essence might be different for different people. And thats the very difference of Ore Kadal.
Akhil: There have been places where you can feel the tempo going down. Maybe the children and associated sentiments, the places where deepthi starts to adore nathan, or even the cyclic comparisions with the neighbours. But when the movie makes you think after seeing it, the whole thing is worthy!
Deepak Ramakrishnan: Yeah the promos are subtle and catchy. Actually the promos did me in. They actually made me go to chalakudy and catch the movie for the fear of not getting the tickets at Cochin.
Vinod Sukumaran: Getting a small word of appreciation from the editor, is something that I will cherish. That friends, was Vinod Sukumaran the editor of Ore Kadal and the director of "Diary of a Housewife" which won the National Film Award for Best First Non-Feature Film of a Director .
neermathalam: Kaanuka maashe. Thuvanathumbikalolam illenkilum ippozhathe prahasana padakilkkidayil oru valiya aashwaasam aanu ore kadal.
Sunitha: I really hope you did NOT get disappointed and wasted your money just because you read my review. It was just my personal opinion about the movie, and I didnt think it was of the nature of an 'utter bore'. The movie allows each person to have his/her own judgement about it, and I am not a good enough person to tell which was right/wrong. The movie was intense, although imperfect at occassions - There are glitches - the same as you mentioned, the growth of relationship b/w deepthi and nathan is not convincing enough. There could have been more time on that rather than giving time for kid-parent emotions and neighbour's situational similis. Anyway, as it allowed me to spend my time without closing my eyelids I consider the movie worthwhile
jfn: I agree on that point. Repeating the above thoughts. It should have been Deepthi's inability to control the waves of her mind and its overruns. Bela really gives a much needed control to Nathan's character.
Tulip: Absolutely right. This one and Agnisakshi stands out.
Dini: Thanks for the encouragement. And happy to know that more people share the opinion about the movie.

shynil said...

Interesting Review.

silverine said...

I dont know about the movie but this is one of the best reviews of a movie I have read!

Manoj said...

I saw the movie last night. I was waiting for the movie to be released in Bangalore. Much awaited movie from Shyamaprasad. I had seen and read pre-release interviews with the director and heard the songs in the movie a 100 times before I finally watched the movie.

The movie was really an experience of a life time. No words to express how deeply the movie keeps you involved in the emotional turmoil each characters were going through. I loved this movie. It really is one of THE best movies ever made.

The story line and screenplay is so tightly knit and presented in a very controlled and magical way that it makes you wonder that how much perfection you can achieve in this form of art.

Editing, Music, Songs and costume design and art work of the movie really stands out.

No words to explain the outstanding performances of Mammootty, Meera, Ramya and Narein.

Shyamaprasad has done a wonderful job with this movie. The movie left me speechless. Wanted to see it again. It is certainly an amazing piece of work. The story and characters will follow you and will haunt you for a long time even after you leave the theater. So powerful and magical.

Eternal said...

Exceptional movie..One you would not want to miss. The movie portrays the human emotions exceedingly well. The way Nathan's emotional turmoil is captured, leaves you empathizing with the character. Such Taste, such refreshing and daring theme.
2 thumbs up..! Long time since I have seen a malayalam movie, which demands a reaction. This is my first comment in a website and it was forced out of me by ShyamaPrasad and his team of champions.. Way to go!!!

Anonymous said...

Shyam Prasad should not have done these kind of serial standard movies. Its nothing but trash. Why people things its a complexities of human relationships? Sounds funny. I have five questions to Meera why she liked Dr. Nathan?
1. Dr. Nathan was a full time Alchoholic man, and why?
2. Never showed any love or affection to her?
3. He ofen said, he have many woman in his life and he cant love anyone?
4. He was not handsome or well dressed?
5. Being an economic analyst and an award winner from prime minister did he done justise to his character?

I like all his interviews and previous works. Please do good films and Don't treat wonmen bad.

Dr. Parwathy Menon

Kuruvila said...

finally i got a chance to watch this movie!my expectations were quite high, but unfortunately the movie couldnt rise up to it. like some of the comments indicated, the deepthi-nathan relationship consummated too fast giving it an unfathomable twist. no matter how innocent and unthinking deepthi can be, as a viewer, i couldnt sympathise with her or her husband. of course i would give full marks to meera jasmin mammootty and narain for their excellent performance, but not to shyamaprasad because he apparently failed to carry his viewers with him!

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Lighthouse said...

To be frank I didn't Like this movie. The story is Glorifying and promoting infidelity and extramarital relations. There is no good message in this movie to the society. Dr nathan and deepthi gets a guilty feeling after doing the sin. I empathize with deepthis husband. These two sinners shattered his life. Bella is more noble. She understands dr nathan better and tries to save him. she is a better candidate for being Dr Nathans wife. Actors have done their best. deepthi attempts to kill nathan and drops the idea at the last moment. A similar scene I have seen in a popular holiwood movie.
We can’t say that Deepthis love made dr nathan a good human being because there is no love. It is lust, infidelity, and the resulting guilty feeling that haunts her. It is not love. This movie is technically great. But even third class tamil movies leaves good messages of virtues to the society. I like movies that gives good messages to the society

twistybreadandchickenwings said...

I saw the movie today...with english sub-titles...I was really moved by the excellent potrayal of the character of Dr. Nathan and Deepthi by Mammoty and Jasmine...
Almost never seen such complexity of emotions,the twists and turns of human relations and the fickleness of the human mind potrayed by one and all in the movie..

Anonymous said...

pottappadam

Anonymous said...

I watched this movie today. While respecting the previous comments, I have only one question to ask the director. Dr. Nathan showed no love/ affection to Meera's charector, she still madly loves him. But why in the world she is not looking at her own husband to love, the one who waited that long for her, the one who did everything for her. I dont understand that kind of complexities of relationships for whatever reason !
Waste of time.
Nithu

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Mother said...

Lousy movie
A woman fall in love after marriage n with kids. She is so selfish. Never bother on her child's future.
She is already lucky to hav a good man as a husband yet she is Soo diverted to another man's infatuation .😡