It is almost a month by now since the movie had got released and had been running successfully in the theaters. My friends had told very high opinions about it but that had never moved me to go out and watch it. My husband was telling always about something or the other in the movie. As it is in Tamil language that is not much familiar to me, I never permitted him to book my ticket for it. But yesterday it happened all of a sudden. He searched for tickets in all leading multiplexes in Chennai, got depressed at its unavailability. He asked me whether we could go to Udhayam theatre for the movie. I got thrilled with the name Udhayam, as I have heard the name for the first time when Vikram had gone to the theatre for watching his 'Daivatirumagal' along with his baby Sarah. I agreed and we planned the movie for yesterday evening...a Sunday eve out.
Entering Udhayam for the first time, I had Vikram in my mind, and felt excited that I am stepping on the way that Vikram had walked that particular day. The crowd was full in front of the ticket counter. We managed to convert the online ticket from beside the counter and straight away entered the way in. Having got seated, I had a glance of what was around. I got reminded of the old theatres of Cochin, my native city. The crowd was really 'public'- the real core of expressive group- the real audience. For sometime, I felt that I am in an auditorium for a marriage function, as most of the ladies had flowers in their head, a silk saree worn, so many enthusiastic kids running around leaving their seats and the seating arrangement also represented a marriage auditorium.
My husband looked a little tensed of whether I will get too uncomfortable to watch the movie. Howls echoed from around. But I was very comfortable and started watching the screen amidst the true spirit of the public. Within a few minutes I was fully into the movie. The pin-drop silence gave me the exclusive effect of what I was watching. By thirty minutes I got a lot impressed about the presentation of the story thread, a little confused with the single and double flash backs, a feel for each of the main four characters, and wanted to stand and clap for the background score that was cunning and piercing. By one hour, the interval disturbed me and I wanted to see what happens next. In between I went on asking my husband about the director, the music director and the cast, and I felt shocked to hear that the director is a new comer. I was surprised at the confidence in his layering of the core, the perfect detailed characterization which would have made the Fox Studios' confident entry into Tamil cinema. The latter part excellently balanced between the four main characters. The part of fun was casually presented. The tragedy too came in exactly the same casual way. Nothing was made-up and nothing hung loose in the pack. Everything came up as natural as it is and never distracted us with loopholes or questions out of confusion.
In the tragic climax, my eyes were wandering in search of every character and couldn't wait to see what happened to them next. I felt too relieved when I saw some characters safe out of the tragedy. The emotional sad scenes were digging out tears from my eyes proving that it deserves my heart. The end of the movie was with a social message that will flag in our purged minds forever. While walking back to the car, Vikram was already erased from my thoughts and got replaced by those characters and the director himself. The crowd was just an apparition, as the movie was still running in my eyes. The story doesn't end there. On the way back, the movie stirred up my mind, turned it upside down often, making me start a research on the crew behind. Even when it is someone's first Tamil movie, Murugadoss and Fox Studios had done the production and I believe, that is not due to the luck or due to the reason that the director assisted Murugadoss in his films, but it is due to the pure merit of the debut director. The craft was evident in creating a very silly cause for the tragedy, the presentation of the emotional sequences, the in-depth characterization the lazily broken flashbacks which were extremely effective, the logical stream of events, the believable yet shocking turn of events, the way of reminding certain important co-incidences and everything...everything that constructed the movie. The one master mind- M. Saravanan- story, script, dialogues, direction, lyrics (of two songs) with a debut music director named Sathya, some non-famous voices and some flexible non-starry actors. The movie was a tight complete pack. It proved to me that a good movie doesn't demand a good ambiance, a good theater and a good company to watch it. A good movie doesn't depend on external factors beacuse it stands independent with all glory.
For a conclusion of this strictly personal view of my movie experience, I would like to add the thoughts that came to my mind today morning. I tried hard to recollect the names of those recent movies that I referred to as classic or excellent, but I couldn't remember any one of them. Then I went back through the movies that I have seen, one by one, going back through years, in search of some movie which could be compared to this one, and I stood at last with the Malayalam movie called 'Manichithrathaazhu'. I was surprised at the long blank white thread that got tied to Engeyum Eppothum on one side and Manichithrathaazhu on the other. No names more. It is almost fifteen hours by now, since I watched the movie, but the visuals are intact still rewinding and forwarding in front of my eyes. What a magical effect the debut director had made in the mind of a lady who never opted for a Tamil movie in theatres! Let the magic of craft moves forward with this master mind. The movie deserves each one of you as its viewers in the theaters. Anywhere, anytime, I vote for five stars plus for an extra star called M. Saravanan. I am happy, I am excited, I am thrilled and I am hopeful. Engeyum Eppodhum is 'The' movie. Thank you to my husband.