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The most poignant and the most important scene in Mayakkam Enna comes in the first half, when Karthik(Dhanush) is walking back after a disappointing photo shoot and spots an old lady sitting on the side of the road. He decides to photograph her and hears reassuring words from her and her husband. That’s really the crux of his problem. Karthik’s problem is mostly the unrewarding passion of his – photography. He is in harmony with himself when he receives those reassurances. It doesn’t matter if they come from his friends or an award winning Indian photographer or a nobody. He crumbles when he is denied that or worse, when what is rightfully his is snatched away from him. Much the way he feels about his love. But the love story is completely incidental. His love story that is. This is reinforced by the mostly terrific cut to the wedding and the story from thereon.

The love story here is that of Yamini(Richa) and how for her, it doesn’t matter if it is a peaceful harmless Karthik or the crumbling Karthik she is living with. It’s a love story set in such a heightened passion that it is no surprise that there is so much physical and mental violence in it. Even their first meet starts off like that. Their union really comes together only when they both feed off their passions(yes, that word again. That is it).

I am not sure if it is all calculated marketing but for now, the man Dhanush is everywhere. He was on UTVStars talking to some VJ day before and last night he was on Radio Mirchi talking about Ilayaraaja in Neenga, Naan, Raaja Sir. He’s having a rollicking 2011, what with Aadukalam and a National Award, Kolaveri going international and a film like Mayakkam Enna where I daresay he is even better than how he was in his award winning role. Karthik Swaminathan seems more suited to his milieu and Dhanush sits well in that world. It’s more natural compared to the methodical looking village youngster in Aadukalam. Richa had done her part but I sometimes don’t understand the choices of people like Selvaraghavan, Kamal for their heroines. Sometimes it is explained by bilingual aspirations but Raima Sen and Andrea in Aayirathil Oruvan? Richa here? Why, I can’t help but think how even a Sneha would have done great things with this role.

People call out Gautham Menon on his song picturizations all the time but I hope for once they do the same with Selvaraghavan. Absolutely ridiculous CGI in one and awfully tasteless “tribal dance” in the other. It wasn’t even “tribal”! I wonder if some Keralites would register outrage!

Also there is severe meta sensibilities to the film(I think). It is intensely personal so if you can spot it, great. And Selvaraghavan clearly cannot make any other type of film. This is really his only calling.

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12 thoughts on “Mayakkam Enna

  1. Basically, unaku padam pudichida ilaya? And I’m sorry but that old-lady-photography scene la enaku poignancy e therila – I kinda found it to be a little poignant-for-the-sake-of-being-poignant types. I’m with you on the choice of heroines, the pathetic cgi and the aunties-in-white-mallu-sari part (both of which completely ruined nice songs). Bottom line, for me, the movie absolutely sucked.

    Adi: I quite liked it for the most part but the execution could have been way better. First half especially.

  2. Adi, I watched the movie yesterday and I realllyyyyyy likeed it. Yeah, that tribal dance was unnecessary. More so, the movie would’ve done fine without any songs at all . I couldn’t understand why Richa was chosen, because I think all she had to do was stare at people through the movie. The only scene she actually did anything emotional was the crying scene after the miscarriage. But on the whole, I liked it..it was different.. :)

    Adi: Ah that’s refreshing!

  3. dey, so much you managed to get out of the movie? that old lady scene was laughable at best.

    Adi: Two things a) The second half is quite key. It puts a lot of things in perspective. But of course I also wonder if it was this despicable for you already, then maybe there is no point after that b) I also think a lot of things influenced your decision to walk out. I heard the crowd/theater was bad? And other things :) I am pretty sure you can name a handful of films more annoying that you would have sat through fully. This was far from anything like that. Your(the whole group that went!) reaction did seem exaggerated to me and Anantha during the interval.

  4. I watched it sometime back with my roommates and i was the only person who liked the movie. Rest all felt it is the worst movie of 2011.

    For once i am happy to see a different movie not a typical tamil cinema action entertainer with heroism ….

    Richa will def get an award for this movie. so does the cinematographer.

    Yeah CGI and that tribal song totally sucked.

    Adi: Award en al konjam too much!

  5. I’m glad someone else agreed with the ‘meta sensibilities’ thing! I find Selvaraghavan intensely personal the way GVM is, but I guess the differences in the personal worldviews just shows how different, and fascinating, the South Madras-North Chennai divide can be (among other things). Incidentally, the two movies of this quarter were both about Passion with a capital P – Rockstar and Mayakkam Enna, and strangely, both movies worked for me on some level though there was not much I could ‘relate’ to in either. What I couldn’t get were comparisons to ‘A Beautiful Mind’…yen indha kolaveriyo! :)

  6. - I thought the glow-around the old lady could have been done better, robbed the poignancy, making it a tad unnatural.
    – Selvaraghavan, GVM, Ameer and to an extent Mysskin are probably the current crop of tamil directors who make movies “the way they want” which is quite healthy I think.
    – And, Raima Sen illa, Reema Sen :-)

  7. Na annike chonnen Dhanush has talent ta..nambiniya??? Now do you know why i like him :)

    Adi: Hello! But I still don’t/can’t watch him in crappy movies like Suran, Padikathavan and Kutty en al like you do :P

  8. Thanks for writing special post for Mayakkam Enna … I have heard a lot from my tamil friends and now I will surely watch this movie

  9. Pingback: Mayakkam Enna « 24 frames per second

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