Needhaane en ponvasantham (a verrry detailed analysis of the plot)

Disclaimers/confessions : I am NOT a fan of Gautam Menon. The one movie of his which I liked watching was Minnale, mainly because it had Madhavan and Vivek and the famous “ennaku  IG ya theriyum sequence” . From then on, every movie of his had lengthy narratives by the hero, and there’s a limit to how much low pitched repetitive monologues I can take. And somehow at the end of it all, his films remind me of the colour gray, I don’t know why.

That said, I liked Needhaane En Ponvasantham. I think I really liked it ! The premise, is, as the Bald Boss says, is very simple. Boy and girl meet, they like each other very much but at times don’t get along. This meeting spans a time frame of over twenty years or so, and at the end (*spoiler alert*), everything is settled, well, mostly amicably.

You see, what drives this film is the performance of the lead pair. They are fabulous. Jiiva should be going places. And Samantha is a surprise, a very pleasant one at that. I can’t think of any other actors who can play school children, college students and twenty five year olds with more elan.

The story starts when Jiiva meets Samantha (well, Varun and Nitya if you prefer) at a swing and discovers that she likes Enid Blyton too (hurray!) Anyway, they bond very quickly but unfortunately one day she overhears Varun choosing to play with other boys over her, and there ends the friendship, also because Nitya moves away to a more upscale part of the town.

They meet again in a tuition center in the tenth grade, and after a very awkward but lovable apology by Varun, become friends again (watch for Samantha’s dancing eyes here) . This school sequence is really very well done, the awkwardness, the  delight, the unsaid words. And the director beautifully drives home the point about how well off Nitya’s family is when the lead pair discuss their  Yerkaud-Australia holidays. Jeeva is wonderful here.

Ennnyway,  Varun shifts schools to be with Nitya, who adores him and gives him rides to school and shares her lunch and everything. Being children, money really does not matter, Varun is not old enough to get all piqued by Nitya doing him favours. But when she and another boy become school pupil leaders, and spend more time together, the jealousy and the “Is this why I threw away my life and came to this school” starts and a big fight ensues. Nitya is offended, and extremely hurt that the boy she had seen with starry eyes was, you know.. and ends their relationship in what can only be described as the classiest break up of school romances of Kollywood.

Shift to college, Varun is now older, and has Santhanam for a sidekick. He meets Nitya again at “Culturals”. For me this is the weakest part of the whole story, but maybe I don’t understand the whole love at first sight gig and the “saari” effect. Anyway, Nitya who is really very friendly and impulsive is ready to give the whole thing another chance and our hero is too smitten by her, to think otherwise.

It is really easy to fall in love, if you give yourself the OK signal, and it is doubly easy to fall for the guy you had already fallen for. So cupid takes these two for a ride. Intoxicating fresh love, youth, beauty and all the works, Nitya falls madly deeply in love, and only Varun exists for her. Nothing else really matters, for this is her aim, her end in life. To be his partner, at his side and to be his, for the rest of her life. She gives him her cell phone, allows him to drive her around in her car. Varun is still innocent enough, he doubtfully asks her whether her father would be OK with all this, but his manhood does not yet bristle with rage at the thought of the woman (albeit using her father’s wealth) doing him all these favours. Carefree and happy go lucky, without an aim, very much in love and ready to spend all his time with Nitya, our man.

Three years go by, and alas Nitya is done with her course, though Varun still has one more year. Both have no clue about what they should do, but Nitya confesses that she has no aim in life except to be with Varun, who feels rather pleased at this bit of news (Who wouldn’t be ? ) She goes away to some place in Scotland to do a Masters or something, while Varun spends his time in internet cafes chatting with her and hanging out with his college buddies whom he has neglected for a while, and telling them how much he misses his love.

And this is the character altering event. Varun’s brother gets rejected by a girl (well, her family) because they want a more high profile sort of person and family to have an alliance with. With a jolt, Varun wakes up and realizes that he hasn’t done anything for his family [though his Dad is a strong character and perfectly OK with being a school teacher and living modestly but wisely] and ambition burns in his heart. IIM, CAT , the works for a high flying career, to make something of himself and his family. To be the son his parents would be proud of.

Nitya comes back earlier than planned and surprises a very nervy Varun, who now, like normal human boys gets very offended when she offers him her car. He cannot spend all his time with her any longer, is caught up with his work. And only after a few days, does he tell a bewildered Nitya that all this is because he is studying for CAT exams. (Why is it that men cannot understand that a woman values his confidences the most. Share with her, your honest motives and reasons, you dimwits)

She is mighty relieved that this is all over an exam, and is rather eager to prepare for it too, if it would mean spending more time with Varun, which angers him. Suddenly, she appears to be rather clingy, too flighty. Studying for CAT exams to spend more time with him, seems absurd.

Anyway, she doesn’t and he does brilliantly in everything and ends up with a placement in Kozhikode. Nitya is jubilant that Varun is selected, but her face falls when she realizes he’s going away. And this is the best scene of the whole movie. A brilliant parting of ways of young lovers. When a twenty something year old boy cannot realize that he is the world to a twenty something year old girl, however implausible it might appear. When he cannot understand why she is so content to give up everything just to be with him, and why he cannot make her understand that he has ambitions, he has lands to conquer, miles to go and is too young to be burdened with her right now.

Nitya walks away, her heart broken, her ego bruised and her love shattered, because the man she loved did not love her as much. Something  every girl,  I guess,  realizes at some point or the other.

We jump ahead by three years. Varun is settled, his modest parents are now touring the world, his brother’s married and everything is hunky-dory. Except that there is no Nitya in his life. So he takes a leave of absence, and goes hunting for her and finds her in a tsunami hit village, teaching school children. Who, it is very clear, is extremely affected by his presence there. Angry, fragile, yet weirdly pleased that he has come for her, but too hurt, proud and scared to reciprocate or respond to his advances. And Varun being a man, just sees a very stubborn woman who cannot understand that he’s left his work (temporarily) and is spending all his time trying to persuade her to come back.

After a dance sequence, she agrees to talk to him.

“Why should I go back with you Varun ? ”

“Don’t you understand, Nitya. I had to spend this time away from you.It was for my family. Surely you can understand”

“And if it had taken three more years for you to settle down ? Then what”

“But I’ve come back now. For you !”

“All the right boxes have been checked. Now you have an empty box called Nitya to check ? Or is it an empty box called marriage ? ”

(Oh, brilliance)

Varun argues that it was her fault they broke up, and that it is due to him that she is redeeming herself by working with these children here. It was he who knocked some sense into her that her life was worth more than just , well, er being in love with him. Oh sweet irony 😛 Anyway, it is time she gives up all this, and gets married to him.

Yet another classic break up, for a very real life reason. He storms away, convinced that he cannot coax her anymore, that his chapter with Nitya is done for ever. And being a hot bachelor and an IIM alumnus, gets engaged very soon to get married to somebody (his sister in law’s sister, actually)

Nitya unaware of all this, returns home after a long time, and calls Varun up to meet him. No, ladies, she just wants to invite him to her sister’s wedding. And Varun tells her about his engagement and very soon upcoming marriage.

Nitya goes back home and cries her eyes out. Strong woman and everything though she is, she did not actually believe he would get married, as soon as all this. Men are morons sure, but Varun is way better than the rest. Oh dear, what a blooper, to have sent him away before !

And from now on, we are back in Tamil Cinema  land. She turns up at his wedding reception (they hold that before tying the knot, so save the scandalous gasps), takes a car ride with him (at his insistence, in his new car where he not so subtly tells her that this is payback time) and apologizes (this form of apology is not recognized by men ?) . Anyway, he calls off the wedding since he realizes he cannot love any other woman and is all upset with Nitya because she ruined his life (if she hadn’t shown up at the wedding reception, everything would have been fine), invades her apartment, and tells her off. She apologizes some more, he leaves after giving her father a mild heart attack, she chases him, apologizes yet again, and they kiss and make up. Well, she kisses him and so he makes up. That, ladies, is apparently the real hold a woman has over a man. But, I can’t really argue with this ending. Maybe if one chooses marriage, one has to apologize !

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2 Comments on “Needhaane en ponvasantham (a verrry detailed analysis of the plot)”

  1. ideallaedi Says:

    oye, tis really not that bad 😛 And I like Jiiva

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