Monday, 20 April 2015

O Kadhal Kanmani

Dulquer Salman, Nithya Menen
Prakash Raj, Leela Samson
Mani Ratnam
AR Rahman
Madras Talkies
Release Date
April 17, 2015
2 Hours & 19 Minutes

My Thoughts
Is marriage the only means for belongingness and togetherness? Is it the only option to shoo off insecurity and foresee a future? Is marriage certificate more powerful than moments you share and happiness you experience? Isn't love enough? OK Kanmani puts across these poignant questions poetically onscreen with cute dialogs and some memorable scenes.

Ace director Mani Ratnam is back to his comfort zone – relationships. The dialogs are fresh and young; so are the situations. PC Sreeram’s cinematography lets us taste Mumbai in all its seasons. It makes the movie younger and colorful.

AR Rahman’s background music is beyond okay. It blends with the situations and speaks on behalf of the characters. Mental Mandhil makes us hum and smile. Maula Wa Salim sung by AR Rahman’s son is appropriately placed. Naane Varuvgiren and Theera Ula is perfect. When KS Chitra sings Malargal Ketten, silence and serenity enwraps, thereby, rekindling the love for Carnatic music.

Dulquer as Aadi is easy-going, fun and career-oriented. He dreams of becoming rich and successful. He is the voice of today’s generation. He is like that boy whom you know already, who your friend loves or may be, yourself! Dulquer fits into the shoes though not as effortlessly as Karthik did in Mouna Ragam or Madhavan did in Alaipayuthe or Siddharth in Aaytha Aezhuthu.

Nithya Menen as Tara is career-oriented with a bitter childhood and strong opinions. Tara’s character carries several layers of emotions. Her transition as a character, her fears and insecurities is outstandingly portrayed by Nithya Menen. Her eyes even communicates the vacuum she feels. Her cute smile emanates the feel that only first love can spread. She is the apple of the eye as far as OK Kanmani is concerned.

Further, Prakash Raj as serious Ganapathi uncle has underplayed and looks just normal. However, debutant Leela Samson as Alzheimer’s patient Bhavani Aunty is a sure show-stealer. Her witty one-liners, voice modulation and at-ease body language make us wish that the movie was more about Ganapathi uncle and Bhavani aunty than Aadi and Tara. They convey that love is like wine; gets better with time.

While local trains, buses and charm reminds of Alaipayuthe, Aadi and Tara as characters resemble Arjun (Siddharth) and Meera (Trisha) from Aaytha Aezhuthu. Paradhu Sellava is pops up out of nowhere and makes the audience feel bored. Ganapathi uncle’s apartments reminds of Bombay and Prakash Raj looks similar to how he looked in Iruvar set.

In short…
The climax is clichéd and the movie is wrapped up hastily. Is marriage the only solution for togetherness? What can a marriage certificate do that love cannot? If marriage is the aim, why fall in love, live-in and shock the older generation?

OK Kanmani is more than ok as a package; perfect entertainer. And just ok as far as the clichés are ending is concerned....


PS: The movie is given a U/A certificate because the plot is that of live-in relationship. Are you serious? I have not seen any movie in recent times that deals such a storyline and yet has never breached the thin line of vulgarity and uneasy scenes. The movie is so beautifully taken that you can watch with your little child or grandparents!


  1. I agree with everything you have written here. This was a movie that I went with high expectations. Other than the cliched climax, I thoroughly enjoyed it. But I guess it's one of those feel-good movies and you come out of the theatre with a smile on your face :) Okay, I better stop now and do a post on the review!

    1. It is a feel-good movie indeed... Thanks Aathira :)

  2. So watching this. I'm listening to the music for the first time as I type :)

    1. Some of the songs are good to listen...
      And all of them sits perfectly in the film, except Parandhu Sellava!

  3. Seems like an interesting movie from the review..

  4. Hello greetings and good wishes.

    No doubt this is a wonderful movie. Your commentary is excellent.

    I think this movie is only aping the western culture where even children in high school are having children out of wedlock. There are numerous problems associated with this kind of relationship. I have a young face book friend who lives in US. She had a child as soon as she turned eighteen with her live in friend out of wedlock. This girl's mother is also my fb friend and I asked her whether her daughter was married. The mother told me that her daughter is not married and she will marry after one year.

    What do you think is the future of this little child? What do you think will happen if the couple decide to separate for xyz reasons? Will they eventually marry and live a happy married life?

    You many be having some answer for these questions.

    I think such movies spread wrong message to young people and since you say that even little children can watch this movie, I wonder what chaotic life these little ones will have once they grow up.

    I don't understand the meaning of UA certificate although perhaps it means that these movies can be watched by children with parental guidance.

    These are the movies which encourage youngster to break the law, throw away religious teachings and make them believe that western culture is the best and should be imitated.

    Do you think living with a live in partner is immoral? Do you think having a child out of wedlock is immoral? What legal status this child born out of wedlock will have? Do you think whether it is good for the child to be born out of wedlock to be brought up by a single parent is good in case the couple decide to separate?

    I am groping for answers. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

    Best wishes

    1. Sir, I don’t deny what you have said. I also understand what you are trying to say.
      You talk about relationships at a very young age and bearing children out of wedlock. I don’t know and am no one to say if it is good or bad. But, I certainly know that seeing marriage as the ONLY means to togetherness is wrong. It is not free from flaws too. What about dowry harassments? Child marriage? Divorce? How about bringing up a child after divorce? How would the mindset of such a child be? There are several young girls who are forced into a wedlock. What about that?

      Marriage is a bond that is meant to unite two people and allows them to stay together forever. It is also a unison of two families. So, we let the world about such a unison in the name of marriage. The concept of marriage is so simple. But, these days, money, power, societal status and what not plays a more vital role than the two people who marry. Society and its beliefs has more influence than the parents and family of these people.

      I agree that teenage love and affairs are bad. But, when there are two adults, well-educated earning good money and independent… who are also in love with each other… who in reality share their lives with each other, has to get married because society wants that?

      Today’s generation is born with a fear of marriage. Maybe because they have seen their parents and other family members and realized that it is scary!

      Times are changing. In the name of tradition and beliefs, we cannot hold people forever. After all, change is the only constant!

  5. 4/5 !!!??? for this movie ? Too much !! Really you have become Loco-mente in letter and spirit :) .

    Apart from the scenes involving Prakash Raj & Leela Samson, there is nothing new in this film. PrakashRaj Leela Samson : Did I see Poornam Viswanath – Saukar Janaki of ??? : )…. They are the real hero heroine of this movie.
    Oh yeah - technically, just like all the other Mani Ratnam films, this too is good. But when it comes to the story, this could end up in the list of the weakest Mani Ratnam films till date.

    Mani made the romance factor of Tamil cinema moving through the territories hitherto-unknown by the melodious songs, lovely scenes etc. Agninakshatram, Dalapathi, Roja etc. Yes, his thought process was progressively 20 years to 80s. But the world moved on and a lot of directors copied and improved upon Mani Style. But Mani - he stood transfixed on that point. After Dalapathi, his films lost that touch.. His uniqueness got afftected. Same with OKK..

    Since 1990s, Maniratnam stuck to a brilliant policy of having a better team, PC to Caam, Rahman to music and Srikar Prasad to Edit. Just like Steve Waugh having Ponting n hayden to bat, mcgrath and warne to bowl; So nothing to wonder w.r.t editing, camera, music, dance etc.

    But story, SORRY…

    Story starts after interval and finishes within say, half hour.. Dialogues, so artificial.. nothing more to say that..

    On analyzing without being prejudiced or “Mani-fanatic”, it can be seen that apart from technical features, this movie has got only one appreciable point ie., PrakashRaj – Leela Samson. So sad that it is served like “paruppum neyyum” of a grand Sadhya :)

    1. I respect your view. But, I respectfully disagree.
      This movie is also progressive. It is also futuristic. You will know that 20 years down the line.
      Wait and watch!

  6. I don't know anymore, whether marriage is the only solution for togetherness ... but I do know, that ever since him and I separated, we are more together than ever ... smiles ... Love, cat.

    1. Marriage is certainly not the only solution for togetherness. It is scary and a lifelong commitment adds to the fear.
      Thanks Cat :)

  7. I found this movie Just OK only. That too because of A. R. Rahman and P. C. Sreeram. Look at your first paragraph. How did Mani Ratnam answered those poignant questions? To get an answer, see how did the movie end.

    A few scenes and dialog are outright idiotic. Hero and Heroine meet for the first time. The very next minute, he asks for her cell number and she gives it to him, In real life, is it that easy to get the number from a girl when you meet her for the first time.

    During one of their romantic conversations, the heroine keep on asking the same one question. And then? And then? At one stage, the hero says: I am going to close the bedroom door. The heroine asks: And then? The hero says: I am going to eat you.

    I do not know about India. That has a very vulgar meaning in USA. I do not know how it escaped the censor.

    1. SG, it is very easy to get girl's number if she is ready to give it. In Tara's mind, Adi is already a hero because of the way they are introduced on the 1st scene. She has already seen that Adi is caring and is concerned about others. She takes him as a friend and it is very natural to share number with the friend.

      And regarding the scene where the heroine asks the same question that you have mentioned - You have wrongly quoted the dialog. Its the heroine who says that I am going to eat you. That further shows her willingness.I do not know about the vulgarity of the dialog and all that. All I know is that it is common that people who are in love could use such languages.

  8. I have not seen this movie, but movies dealing with such themes are required for this time and age. In India, marriage is considered to be a magical cure to many societal problems (that would have been). But when times change, new systems need to be explored, and if required adopted. Of course, the new systems also come with their own problems.

    I like Manirathnam in one way: he doesn't make a movie to tempt the readers or to break box office - he makes them to tell the truth in the society and to show both sides of the coin. It maybe relationships, it maybe social issues, whatever. And there are always layers in his movies that are evident only for the keen observer. I want to watch this movie as I am in awe of the storyteller in him (and learn a thing or two), but not to enjoy or find an ideal or such silly things.

    Destination Infinity

    1. I so-so agree with you. Mani Ratnam may have taken a safer side in the climax. But, keeping that aside, the entire movie is progressive!

  9. That is one great review I have read in a while!!! Although I haven't watched the movie, your review gives an insight of how the movie would be :) Songs are amazing! :)

  10. Your view point and the review are good.But a few think it is just an average movie when it is Maniratnam's. Opinions differ.

  11. Well, the movie is dubbed into Telugu too...& even planning to watch it...
    Thanks fO d review dear