I love Sujatha’s writings. I grew up with his writings. He is always futuristic in his concepts, radical and thought provoking. I read most of his series through my Mom’s collections from Kumudham and Anandha Vikatan.
Pirivom Santhippom was one such story which was written in 1983 ( one year after my birth) and I think I read it around 1996.. ( a concept which was too much for a 14 Yr old). I loved the story and when it was about to be made as a movie, I was thrilled and my expectations grew up manifold.
Its a two part series. Even the second part was published a few months later in order to coincide with the name – Pirivom Santhippom (we shall depart, we shall meet). I will try to give the gist of the story .
It revolves around two characters. Raghu, a young college graduate falls in love with a innocent 19 year old Madhu, who never takes decisions by herself. They meet up in Ambasamudram, a small town in Tirunelveli, where his father is engineer and Madhus father is the senior engineer in the dam project.
Things move fast as they get engaged. In comes, Rad Kishen ( Radha Krishnan), a computer engineer from US, bamboozles Madhus family, marries her leaving behind Raghu. Raghu tries to commit suicide and ends up injured…
Second Part starts after a year, where Raghu goes to US to do his higher studies. Meets Madhu again, who is now sophisticated but with same innocence. She introduces him to Rathna, a intelligent American born desi who wants to come back to Chennai. Situation beckons that Raghu finds a secret about Rad which eventually leads to the death of Madhu. What does Raghu do after her demise makes up the climax.
Now the movie. The movie has been directed by Gandhi Krishna. Sidharth as Raghu, Tamanna as Madhu and Rishi as Rad are the main leads. Music is by GV Prakash, Camera handled by Jeeva Sankar and produced by Aascar Ravi Chandran.
1. The director has tried his level best to be true to the novel. I think except Karai yellam Senbagapoo, Sujathas novels have been massacred by Tamil Directors.
2. Using Sujatha’s original dialogues in lot of places. Especially during the conversations between Raghu and his father. “Love is natures way of ensuring pregnancy”.
3. Kitti as the Father. The fathers character is one of the most memorable ones. I believe Sujatha modeled him around himself. The practical approach, being paranoid about certain things, friendly approach towards his son and although practical the way he is sentimental about his son. Kitti suits the role to a T. I dunno why he is not given such matured roles.
4. The camera work in the first half. I love Ambasamudram and the adjacent places although I have been there only once. Its heavenly. Jeeva Sankar has captured the heaven through his beautiful lenses. It looks like a poem on celluloid.
5. Tamanna as Madhu. I was skeptic whether she will fit the bill. But surprisingly she did. The innocent face, careless expressions and the stubbornness. She has done it. You will hate her when you see her rejecting Raghu but she sympathizes you when she dies.
1. Sidharth as Raghu was mediocre if not pathetic. Every guy who has read the story will empathize with the character because a guy never forgets his first true love. But Sidharth was as unconvincing that I could not even sympathize on his character. Stale emotions, bad body language and he could not even act. Leave alone acting, he doesn’t know how to cry on the screen. When Rathna says that I didn’t love you but I loved your love – I could not see a reason whether Raghu deserves it . ( in the novel Yes)
2. Music and Songs – why the hell do we need so many songs? When the hero sees the heroine – song , when they fall in love – song. And more over except for poovile, others don’t even deserve your respect. If the songs were bad, the back ground score was pathetic. GV can’t live in the shadows of his uncle.
3. Unnecessary Melodrama and Characters
Why the extension for markers character? Why the unnecessary suicide scene of another couple ? – to justify Raghus suicide attempt later. Why the character of Krishna in the name of comedy? Why Mohan Ram has to be a victim of 9/11 and give a lecture about terrorism ? Waste of time…
4. Killing some original characters and sequences.
The greatness of fathers character is best understood when he marries the dissolute servant girl. The director has tried to be politically correct. I think the Tamil audience are matured enough to understand Sujatha’s characterizations.
What happened to Mary? A girl who Raghu meets in US and the wonderful short episode.. What happened to the Vegas trip of Rathna and Raghu, which has some best dialogues of the story?
Although director wants to be true to story, he has yielded to the commercial gimmicks and political correctness which actually has killed the originality of the story. The success of the novel was because the readers fell in love with Raghu and Madhu. But I could not even think about liking the characters in the movie.
A request to the directors – when you take a novel try to be true to it. Its not enough to talk about Spielberg and Ron Howard, its also important to see how they make a movie from a novel.
Till now I have not seen a perfect movie out of Sujatha’s novels. I am waiting … He will definitely not smile from heaven at this movie
A 2/5 for Tamanna, Kitti and the boldness to take Sujatha Novel as a movie.