Director: Hemambar Jasti
Starring: Vetri, Mumtaz Sorcar, Ayra, Deepann, Sonia Giri
The most important scene in Venkatesh Maha’s directorial debut, C / o Kancharapalem (2018) arrives somewhere in the middle of the film. There is a good build on this – a middle-aged woman (played by Rada Bessi) asks a middle-aged man (played by Suba Rao) if he can accompany her to a temple.
They both work in the same office and are so familiar. It is new to the city and also does not speak the local language of this country well (Telugu). However, she knows she can count on this uncomplicated man. He readily agrees and accompanies her the next day. As they climb the rebellious stairs to the temple, which is on top of a hill, he gives her his shoulder to lean on. She’s tired, but he can’t leave. You must remember that her original idea was to visit the temple. The scene then shrinks to show the woman and man sitting opposite each other. They will have a conversation.
There she asks him about his refusal to enter the shrine. After all, he was excited to lead the way! Why didn’t you come in?
He tells her heartily that he does not believe in God. This is a revelation, as we have not yet seen this side of his personality. She does not understand how people can live without believing for a second in the concept of God, so she continues to teach him about his belief system. He laughs like a saint and says he believes in people instead; he is a rationalist. He continues to drop some real bombs on the community of people – and humanity – who have helped him during difficult times.
You will be able to understand the significance of this beautifully written scene in the climax, because then the film comes into place. It’s not a thriller as such, but it’s certainly a puzzle and the last piece makes a great entry only in the final scene.
The Debate on Rationality Against Belief in the Tamil Remake C/ O Kaadhal, which is now broadcast on Netflix, passes quickly and the characters do not get time to try their words. This is by no means a pointless remake. Some of the actors from the original are involved to play their roles and they bring the same amount of magic to the screen. There are very wide strokes that are taken from the Telugu film to draw the different threads of love here. But at the core of it all is still a gnawing void.
This is a movie that is quoted as “Love rules the world.” The slogan also says, “Love has no age.” Really, really. The story follows four boys who belong to different age groups. Their experiences range from falling in love truly and madly with girls who belong to different age groups (even different castes and religions), and learning to breastfeed their wounds when they are unable to enjoy the fruits of friendship.
The choice of cast is Vetri, who plays the role of thirty-something named Taadi. Taadi works in a liquor store and his job is really simple. He has to serve alcohol to people who crowd the store. And there he meets the pupil of his eye Salima (Mumtaz Sorkar). With all the courage he gathers while sipping a few glasses of alcohol, he tells Salima that he loves her. He has not seen her face before. He has just seen the parting between her forehead and her nose. She is wearing a hijab that covers the lower half of her face.
He is a soldier, although he found her job. There are many signs that he has dropped out of school. Why else would he work in a liquor store? But he is a liberal who theoretically puts his faith in dignity and equality. He may not have studied these subjects in school. He may not have heard of the term “feminism”, but he is always ready to take on the complexity of life.
IN The good place (also streaming on Netflix), created by Michael Schur, Eleanor Shelstrop (Kristen Bell), a woman raised in a middle-class family, claims she could master the art of thinking on her feet because of the struggles she had to overcome in his childhood. Maybe Taadi also had his share of problems as he grew up.
Indian cinema does not focus on middle-aged love stories, although most male stars are middle-aged. Some of them are also senior citizens. But writers and directors do not take us into their world. What can we do when actors in their sixties and over play in their thirties? Well, that’s why we have to embrace such films C / o Kancharapalem – and C / O Kaadhal.