Moments from 96 the film!
Waited to write this piece, as this has major spoilers, so that people would watch the film and can really appreciate the connect.
To start off with, is the beautiful song
where Ram is just being him. Wandering, taking pictures, doing some
exotic things in picturesque locals and also mundane things, like eating
alone, sleeping, enjoying his time with himself.
With all the revelations that are yet to be unfolded in the movie, this song shows us that he’s happy with his own self and his life.
This is followed by another beautiful stretch of nostalgia that ends up with Ram connecting with his old friends and which results in a re-union. The scenes take they’re own time to unfold making us linger onto those moments and gives space to think about our own nostalgia.
The excitement of Ram when he sees his old friend, the Watchman of his school. He speaks so fast with the excitement that the other person couldn’t understand. Then he pacifies himself to repeat the statement.
The usage of Illayaraja songs in love scenes has become a cliche nowadays. Here it feels organic and shows how the music has intertwined with our life without us realising it.
The couple don’t even propose, they just know!
The buildup to Jaanu’s entry through series of flashbacks and we wait for Trisha to walk in as Jaanu. And when she does, Govind Vasantha elevates it into a different level and the end result can be seen in the rejoice of the audience watching.
The moment when Chinmayi paints the silence with the Thendral Vanthu theendum pothu prelude. The song, the voice, the lyrics and the situation. The audience feel what it is to be there which is amped up by the reaction of the people in screen. Absolute bliss!
The casual banter between friends about their family and children ending up in a major reveal.
The cold behaviour of Ram engulfs Jaanu and she walks away with that
coldness and then finally realising herself, loosening up and calls back
Then comes the line of the movie!
‘Romba thooram poitia Ram?’
(Have you gone too far, Ram?)
‘Unna enga viteno angayae than nikkiraen ‘
(I’m stranded at the same place where I left you!)
This at present is his physical state and for years his mental state. He’s still freezed to those moments from the past.
The occupation of Ram is not just a gimmick to show exotic locations. He lives with the memories which are still there within and this comes out beautifully in a line in which he say, Even after years, when I see this picture, I’ll be that age and at that moment. Exquisite detailing into the psyche.
Ram hesitates to talk to Jaanu. He’s made a mirage of memories and doesn’t want to ruin it with reality of discovering that she doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. This fear stops him to open up. But knowing that Jaanu also had this Longing and her feelings are afresh, even making him to look like a 10 standard boy, Ram finally feels comfortable around Jaanu and then he starts to open up. He starts talking.
What follows is a stretch of conversations with major revelations from each other. Vijay Sethupathy and Trisha perform ridiculously well in these scenes, that makes these plain conversations into intense story plots.
The stretch when Jaanu reimagines what could have been happened between these two, if things went well.
When Ram is unable to leave by seeing the way Jaanu looks, decides to accompany her as long as possible. And in a reciprocation of events, Jaanu couldn’t leave when Ram has the same look. She can’t stay also, she just shuts of his eyes and leaves.
The film ends in a poetic manner, when Ram reminiscing the night and adding another memory of her into his heart and the briefcase and shuts it within him.
Finally my most favourite moment of the movie, coming back to the reunion sequence.
Ram and Jaanu share a plate of food.
It’s a plain ordinary activity. But for Ram it’s what the most intimate thing he’s been with Jaanu. We are given the repeated moments of Jaanu sharing her food to Ram in the school days. Now it’s happening again. The scene which has played in Ram’s mind over the years is happening for real. The emotions get high and gives a gut in the throat. Ram starts to eat the food and swallows the emotions to himself. This is only where, we get the display of tears in Ram’s eyes. It doesn’t flow down, it just stays in his eyes and rarely gets a peek out. The man has controlled this emotion all along and in a moment it just comes out.
Vijay Sethupathy is marvellous in this scene where you can feel all these emotions. He has done the most difficult thing of conveying a complex emotion without uttering a word.
But to top it all, Govind Vasantha unfurls a musical piece which finally walks away as the highlight of the scene above all. Just pure emotion!
I don’t know if it’s pure cinema, whether it has great technicalities, its flaws. But it makes us connected and expresses a deeper emotion.
The feelings towards a person could be greater than the person itself!