August 27, 2009

Seasons Change… Do We?

Posted in Friendship at 2:11 am by Krishnadev

        Now, I really wanted my comeback post to be about something serious or something more original, but this movie is so good that I simply HAVE to blog about it.

        Rithu is a story of 3 friends and the quandaries their relationship goes through. But it is more than just that. The film is a complete breakaway from the average ‘commercial’ Malayalam movie, which has a 90 year old veteran romancing a 18 year old girl. It is a trendsetter in its own right, with a bold representation of today’s youth. Not many other Malayalam movies have a heroine as… well, ‘outgoing’ as Varsha, or a gay main character like Sunny. Every single aspect of this movie is so refreshingly original and so fresh!

        Normally when you have a film that explores unchartered territory, they just focus so much on that novelty aspect that you simply go, “Oh my God!” But Rithu, to its credit has kept its focus right. Varsha’s as good as a slut, but that detail doesn’t interfere with the storyline in any way. Sunny Matty is gay, but even in the scene where that is revealed, it just comes as a single sentence, instead of a long melodramatic scene. What is even more heartening to see in Sunny’s case is that his sexual orientation hasn’t been approved of or disapproved of in the movie. It is simply dismissed as ‘his personal matter’, as it should be. Director, Syamaprasad, has seen to it that he doesn’t make a fuss on side-details and sticks to the central theme throughout.

        Rithu has neither an in-your-face comedy scene nor an action sequence nor a sexy-showy scene. It doesn’t even have a song scene. But that doesn’t mean the movie is without any of these. It has a lot of laughable moments. ‘Lovely Jamal’, the condom-scene, the car-rocking scene – humour is not lacking in this film. The songs are all so in sync with the storyline that you rarely notice that a song has come on. Tunes by Rahul Raj are very much in harmony with the theme of Rithu. Varsha, while clothed (thankfully!) for the full length of the movie, does add glamour to it. This is where Rithu succeeds. Nothing sticks out. There are no rugged edges. Everything is just so coordinated and smooth, much like the transition of the actual rithukkal.

        But the most striking aspect of this movie has to be the fact that every one of us can identify with the characters. Varsha is nowhere near the innocent Indian girl, but we are so comfortable with that. After all, the innocent Indian girl is virtually non-existent. Sunny is gay, but that give us any reason to have a bias against him. Sarath is torn between the memories of his past friendship and the reality he faces in the present. His dilemma is something that is completely understandable; something that each and every one of us must have gone through. When Sunny feels bad about Sarath being favoured at the workplace, we feel for him. When Sarath sees the love of his life, Varsha in the arms of someone else, his feelings do not even have to be expressed for us to understand. Varsha’s action, of moving on and getting new guys to date when Sarath goes to the US for a 3 year period, is perfectly justifiable. Everyone is so un-filmy and very realistic. This is probably the most novel part of the film.

            The scenes in Rithu deserve special mention. All locations are simply so beautiful! Camera work is remarkable and is nothing like what we’ve seen. The shot through Sarath’s car’s windshield while it rains is just one example of this.

        The one issue where I feel Rithu has slipped is the portrayal of Sarath Verma. He is just too perfect to be human! Practically all the girls in the hall went, “Wow! What a hunk!” on seeing him. He never does anything wrong. His actions, intentions and words are all noble and way beyond the wisdom of a 24 year old. He doesn’t flirt with girls, he is sincerely in love with Varsha till the very end, and even in the final scene, he is the quintessential ‘sincere friend’. He could have well have been named Lord Brahma! But I guess that is forgivable.

        In the end, Rithu doesn’t discuss an issue. Neither does it make a point. It doesn’t tell us “This is good, while this is bad.”  Hell, it doesn’t even have a fully complete ending, but it has a truly endearing core theme. And this theme has been brought out very well indeed. All the things shown are real, true to life and totally identifiable. A must-watch for all, especiall youngsters.

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