Gokul & Prem's Tamil Cinema Review

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Thavamai Thavamirunthu

Rating: 5/5
Cast: Rajkiran, Cheran & Padmapriya
Music: Sabesh - Murali
Direction: Cheran
Remark: A Poetry in Tamil Cinema

Thavamai Thavamirundhu(TT) presents a bracingly honest yet poetic portrait of a man. Without any doubt, I would rate this amongst the all time great movies of tamil. It is a model film whose body work glistens in the sunshine. It's a classic, and truly one of a kind. Writer-Director-Actor Cheran proves yet again his ability to encapsulate the universal emotions within a small tale about a father and his two sons.

The story of TT is about a father whose life revolves around his two sons. Though uneducated, his only ambition in life is to educate his sons and see them lead a comfortable life. Muthiah (Raj Kiran) owns a printing press in a remote village near Madurai. He does all things possible to educate his sons Ramanathan (Senthil) and Ramalingam Cheran). Muthia's wife Sarada (Saranya) advices him whenever he gets worried about his sons' future. Ramanathan is bit playful, but manages to pass poly technique and lands up a secured job with the help of Muthiah. On the other, Ramalingam becomes an engineer.

Matters get complicated after Ramanathan marries Latha (Meena) who is unable to gel with the family. Meanwhile, Ramalingam falls in love with his colleague Vasanthi (Padmapriya) and circumstances forces him to elope with her to Chennai. From here the story takes a turn with lots of twists and wades through sometime familiar and at times unfamiliar waters. The remaining road trip is about how the aged parents try to come to terms with their lonely existence, and how Ramalingam realizes his mistakes and reunites with the family. The end, though similar to Mystic River, is an apt ending for this poetry.

Cheran's major achievement is his ability to make the viewers feel they are on this journey and come to care for Muthia's cherished dreams. Raj Kiran, Saranya, Meena (wife of Ramanathan) and Senthil perform with skill and realism. Raj Kiran definitely deserves many awards. Besides them, Padmapriya is cute and essays emotions with ease. Illavarasu through in a throw ways role makes an impression.

The creative background score by Sabesh Murali is endearing. B.Lenin's editing is back after a long gap, and does show his consummate editing skills. M.S. Prabhu the cameraman captures the majesty of locales, giving the environment space to breathe and captivate. Anil Penrickar's make-up for Raj Kiran and Saranya is first class. As an actor Cheran gives a refine performance, which was lacking in his previous two films-"Solla Marandha Kadhai" and "Autograph".On the flip side, the film at 3 hours 20 minutes demands patients from the views and needs some redressing in the second half.

Thavamai Thavamirundhu is a must watch for the sentimental exploration and is charmingly appropriate for the family and the season.

- Gokul Santhanam & Prem Anand S