Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ore Kadal

Adapting a literary work to screen is always a challenge and Shyamaprasad is the Director who I feel is getting better with each movie. His version of Lalithambika Antharjanam's "Agnisakshi" and his "Akale" based on Tennessee William's "Glass Menagerie" was okay but I feel that his latest film Ore kadal (The same ocean) is better than his previous two creations. Ore Kadal is based on the Bengali Novel 'Hirak Deepthi' by Sunil Gangopadhyay. The story is an adult love story and looks very unconventional....but unlike the stereotyped lovers the protagonists here are realistic, vulnerable and we can feel their dilemma and pain.
The story revolves around four characters. Deepthi (Meera Jasmine) housewife with an unemployed husband Jayan (Narain) and a young son. Dr. Nathan (Mammootty) is a social scientist of repute. He is also a loner and a alcoholic. He lives in the same apartment complex as Jayan and Deepthi. Dr Nathan does not believe in emotional attachement and for him women are just objects to quench the sexual desires which he can’t resist. Bela (Ramya Krishnan), a call-girl turned restaurant owner is one of his bedmates whom he don’t love but depends emotionally!The movie starts showing Deepthi talking to her husband over phone from a public telephone, and telling him that son is very sick and need to be taken to hospital and she does not have money. Dr Nathan happens to listen to her making the call and he helps her take the child to hospital and gives Rs 500/- for his treatment. Later Nathan tells Bela that he did not help Deepthi out of sympathy or attraction but because the plight of this middle class nuclear family made an interesting case study -- and he would write about this in his new book that he is writing.When Jayan returns he thanks Nathan and asks his wife Deepthi to go and ask some more money from Dr Nathan to pay the flat rent. Nathan helps her and from then on an illicit relationship starts between Nathan and Deepthi which leads to sexual relationship between them. Deepthi gets pregnant with Nathan's child but Nathan does not believe in love, family and commitments and is very indifferent to Deepthi's getting pregnant. Deepthi gives birth to a girl child and the sense of guilt and her unrequited love for Dr. Nathan continue to haunt her and she ends up as a schizophernic. Jayan admits her to a mental asylum and after a couple of years Deepthi returns to her old self only to be disturbed again by Dr. Nathan, who is on his way to self destruction pondering over the unjust treatment meted out by him on Deepthi.
I have not read the original novel so I will not be able to comment how good the screen adaptation is. Though the characters are strong I felt that there is no substantial reason why Deepthi wants to get into sexual relationship with Nathan, He just helped her twice and then she gets drawn to him. Shyamaprasad seemed to be in a hurry to bring deepthi close to Nathan. I personally feel that he should have given more time in that area, and should have woven it out more beautifully.Even Jayan's character is very weak. I remember that there was a excellent movie made by Late Basu Bhattacharya, 'Astha' starring Rekha and Ompuri which showed Rekha a mother of two children getting adultery and infidelty outside her married life. In that movie Rekha's character had strong reasons behind her taking this step and the audience can feel that.
Mamooty excels in the role of Nathan and he was perfect. Meera Jasmine I felt was not fit for this role though she got many award for portraying this character. The best character I felt was Ramyakrishnan as Bela, (some scenes between Bela and Nathan made me remember the interaction between Meryl Streep and Ed Harris in 'The Hours'). The character Bela is the ego of Nathan and weaknesses of Nathan’s character and tries to let Nathan observe it. Ramyakrishnan has done perfect justice to the role. Narain's role was one dimensional and it was okay.
Azhagappan's camerawork is good esp because most of the shots are inside the flat and the lighting and the angles should be with the theme of the movie. For example some of the scenes are shot in such an angle that we can make out that the scene is taking place inside the flat of a apartment complex. Special mention I would like to make about the costume designer Cuckoo Parameshwaran. Ousepachan's music is outstanding.
Shyamprasad has done a good job technically but there was something lacking in this movie which made the movie just short of becoming a masterpiece. There is not enough substance or clarity given to the characters and also there were few continuity issues. But Shyam had succeded in making the characters in flesh and the usage of Background music , silence to bring the emotional turmoil deserves a special acknowledgement. This is his best work till date. The movie could have easily became a soft porn movie with vulgarity and lots of melodrama but it is Shyam's direction that has given the story a class and dignified look. It is not a masala entertainer but once you watch this movie some scenes like sheets of papers flying on the street from the balcony of a flat, an electric pole near the streets with lots of power lines crossing to different directions, meera jasmine's smile after biting mamooty's chest,.......all these shots will haunt you after you finish this movie.


Anonymous Risaf said...

u r right, none other than Ramya Krishnan could have done better in that role, not only in this movie even her previous character though it is a commercial movie she has always justified such kind roles given to her.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

are u serious? u felt tht meera wqas unfit for the role! i was wondering how differently ppl thinkss... i thght she was wonderul and no other actress cud do tht role better than meera!!!

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was that climax all about?

3:44 AM  

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