Kannathil Muthamittal, Tamil film
Cast: Madhavan, Simran, Nandita Das, P.S. Keerthana, Prakashraj, Chakravarthy.
A little girl's search for her biological mother who had abandoned her as a new born baby is brought out poignantly in 'Kannathil Muthamittal'. With films like 'Mouna Ragam', 'Alaipayuthe' and now 'Kannathil Muthamittal', Maniratnam yet again proves that he is at his best when tackling human emotions and relationships.
Amudha, adopted by Thiru and Indira and growing up with the couples two sons, is blissfully unaware of her parentage, till the couple decide to inform her of it on her ninth birthday. At first shocked into disbelief, Amudha then expresses her determination to search out for her biological mother. The search takes the family to strife-torn Sri Lanka, where Amudha comes face-to-face with reality, and reconciles herself to it.
The characters are well etched, the tale is narrated with lot of feeling and maturity, some of the scenes would bring a lump to your throat. The director's attention to detail is remarkable. Like, though Amudha shares a close bonding with both her foster parents, there is a subtle difference in the way she interacts with each. Enhancing the emotional impact is the lighting and framing of the camera, with Ravi K. Chandran setting a very realistic tone.
The director seems to get a little distracted after the scene shifts to Sri Lanka, and couldn't resist depicting some war talk and scenes. Tankers and bombs, arson and havoc, talk of liberation, and the silly amateurishly handled scene where Thiru and family get caught in the crossfire between the soldiers and the militants, and make a miraculous escape. The scene of Thiru and his friend falling in the hands of militants reminds one of similar scenes in 'Kaatruukenna Veli'.
It is amazing the way Simran has steadily grown in stature as an actress, and manages to connect with the audience, whether she plays a glamour doll, or just a simple housewife sans make-up, as in this film. Madhavan's wide toothy smile has been curbed, and some subtlety brought in. A little more maturity would have helped. Nandita Das brings out well the dilemma of a woman militant who is persuaded to come face-to-face with her past, and revive the memories which she had buried deep down.
But the scene stealer, undoubtedly, is Keerthana as Amudha, who yearns to see her mother and get a kiss from her. Keerthana (daughter of Parthiban - Sita) evokes so much sympathy, her expressions so natural and spontaneous, it is like she was born to act. Kudos to Maniratnam for his right selection. Like 'Azhagy', this too is a classy film and not to be missed.