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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February 22, 2008

Love/Friendship??

Posted in CET, Friendship, Love at 11:25 am by Krishnadev

            Ok, so we’ve been getting a lot of free hours in college lately and guys as we are, the lathiyadi often comes back to the same topic… Love, Friendship and how these 2 are related. When exactly do you love a person? When do you have a crush on someone? Is this crush just an infatuation? Is love and infatuation one and the same? Is love friendship? Or is friendship love? All of these are questions we asked each other a million times, answered to each other a billion times and still, we saw ourselves as confused as we were at the start, if not more.

Almost all fairy tales talk of how a handsome prince met a beautiful princess, fell in love with her at first sight and lived happily ever after. But is finding love exclusive to just the handsome and the beautiful?? Or is it the prince and princess part that makes them so lucky? I, for one person have never heard of a couple who’ve simply found love and ensured that their love is immortal. If at all anyone ‘finds’ love, it lasts just for a short period. And since it lasts only for a day/month/year, it’s not love. People may ‘love’ each other just to show in public but love’s not a showoff! If it is just for showoff, it definitely isn’t love. I’ve seen guys walking with their ‘loves’ and ‘crushes’ around the entire college campus, not just so that they could talk but also to put up a charade in front of others. To kinda show others, ‘See, this is my girl!’ It’s this fake affection that gives them away.

Love, for me, is not a showoff. Neither is it a pastime or a game. Love is not something you feel immediately upon seeing someone. It’s not something that’s hidden and waiting to be discovered. Neither does it spring out of nowhere nor does it simply happen between 2 people. Perhaps that’s why they use the phrase, ‘making love’. Because love is to be created, nurtured and brought up with hard work, a lot of adjustments and definitely infinite reserves of patience. And in this sense, college love is simply not love. In fact, even when you marry someone, you do not love her/him. Love’s perhaps that which exists between a grandpa and a grandma sitting in a park and sharing an ice cream. Or between the grandpa who has one hand on his walking stick and the other on the hand of his love, while crossing the road. Perhaps that is love. Something that has evolved over so many years of living together, adjusting, making mistakes, disagreeing, quarrelling, reconciling and again adjusting. Perhaps, that is love, when one can understand each and every emotion of one’s love. When you no longer need to tell each other, “I love you”. When you no longer need to buy gifts for Valentine ’s Day to reaffirm your sincerity. When the element of doubt and suspicion have completely been eliminated. Perhaps, that truly is LOVE.

But is that all that Love is? I mean, you do love your brother, your sister, your mother, your father and your friends! You love your parents and your siblings because they’re always there for you. Because they’re the ones you share everything with before anyone else. And friends… Friends are the people who you trust, who you believe and who are true, sincere and honest to you till the end. As we grow up, the group with which we share our most intimate secrets and stories switches from our relations to our friends. We share our joys, our sorrows, our strengths and our weaknesses with them more than we do with our parents and siblings. So, we love them. Shah Rukh Khan said so famously in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, ‘Love is Friendship’. At first glance, it may seem just another stupid Bollywood quote but on closer analysis, we realize that the King Khan is right. Love is friendship. Only that that’s not all that’s love.

So, is sharing the same as love? Perhaps… Love may be sharing of a true and honest part of you.  I believe this is the most apt way to express the meaning of love. Even with your ‘love’, it’s this sharing that bonds you together. With your friends too, it’s the sharing that causes you to love them. The only difference is that with your ‘love’, you share everything and I do mean EVERYTHING.  And that level of love sure takes quite a lot of care, patience, understanding and adjustments. 

Love’s not the words you say,

Neither is it the gifts that you pay.

Neither a showoff nor a timepass,

Love’s pure and clear as glass.

Love’s not to be found here or there,

It is to be made with toil and tear.

Love’s not courtship…

Love’s not something that shifts…

Love’s the tallest that grows Friendship!