OK Kanmani

(Spoilers alert and er.. long post ahead)

I finally got around to watching OK Kanmani. With no great expectations, but with no apprehensions either. It’s a very comfortable feeling, when you *know* that the movie you’re about to watch is going to be … pleasant.

You’ve got a charming couple, who meet, then meet up and then move in together and into the house of another charming older couple. You have PC Sreeram’s Bombay for scenic background, ARR’s frothy and light soundtrack, and all the goodness of past Mani Ratnam’s romantic scenes put through the blender and refreshingly served. All this, the trailers tell you. What they don’t spell out is the wistfulness in Tara’s smile and the catch in Adi’s voice.

There’s really very little drama in this young couple’s lives imposed on by others. Sure, you’ve got the dramatic and very rich mother of the bride who knows the police commissioner, you’ve got the scene with the show-down between Adi’s sister in law and Tara. Hell, Adi and Tara in fact meet across platforms when Tara is threatening to jump in front of an incoming train. But then you realize these moments are of absolutely no significance.

Instead the couple build up the drama all by themselves. Adi, literally, for he is a video game developer. Anyway, for a pair of romantics stifled under masks of cynicism waiting to see who rips the mask off first, this is certainly not a tall order.

There are several beautiful moments as their relationship blossoms. When early on, Tara goes outside her office to meet a waiting Adi to go to a coffee house, he hops on to his bike and waits for her to get on. She hesitates a bit, taken aback. He smiles and asks “Should I walk alongside with you with the bike then ?”. She laughs and climbs on. And the camera zips to the next scene, where they are having coffee. The big deal is not the bike ride, the big deal is making that decision to take a bike ride. With a stranger.

The scene in Ahmedabad when she opens up to Adi about her childhood. Apart from Nithya Menen being simply spectacular (and she is), the scene is a marvel because it shows us why Tara does not want to feel vulnerable, ever, whilst showing us how she is slowly becoming vulnerable !

The train ride when Adi wants to leave Tara in her hostel before he has a change of heart. When he says so, she teasingly repeatedly asks “And then what” and draws  out a .. well, gets him to say a few words before he uses humour to disguise his feelings.

When they watch Ganapathy Uncle tell Bhavani Aunty that she has Alzheimer’s through the almost closed door. Bhavani asks her silent husband “One day, will I forget you also Ganapathy ?”. Adi, distraught, walks away from the scene while Tara looks on wonderingly, hearing perhaps herself in Bhavani’s question.

The conversation Tara and Adi have with their eyes in the party celebrating Adi’s US job offer. Well, not really a conversation, but just a “We both know that this is coming to an end” realization, before they go their separate ways, Adi to the US to become the next big thing in the video gaming world, Tara to Paris to her architecture school.

They make a pact, saying they will not let these last days they have together be drowned in tears or farewells, but simply race through them, sleepless amidst rollicking laughter. The crescendo builds as they build meaningless castles in the air to the tune of Threera .. trying hard not to see the elephant in the room. But this plaster of temporary happiness develops cracks through which the angst about parting creeps in.

We see them querulous, angry, and angsty (the dialogues are so reminiscent of the Madhavan-Simran car scene in Kannathil Muthamittal when they are searching for their daughter who has run away) And it all comes to a boil when Bhavani Aunty wanders away in the rain one evening. The couple, while anxiously searching for her, finally confront their own feelings and the movie ends with one beautiful proposal by Adi (Dulquer just stole all the hearts there)

Really, the only fault I find is with the usage of songs. Brilliantly shot in themselves,  they don’t however really fit into the movie as well as they should have. And Chitra’s “Malargal Kaeten” which just resounds with wistfulness, the beginning of which is … thrown away in a scene early on. Not at all what I had imagined in my mind. However it gets beautifully used later on between Ganapathy and Bhavani,  And also you have the delicious Bhavamulona floating around Adi and Tara in the streets of Bombay. Big win.

Sure, it is a light weight movie. But it is one enjoyable light weight movie. With amazing actors.

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2 Comments on “OK Kanmani”

  1. S Says:

    Very nice, N. I liked this more than the movie; was worth watching the movie to read this. 🙂


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