Saturday, 28 February 2009

Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek) [2002]


Mani Ratnam sure loves making movies on the backdrop of troubled times and places – Roja & Dil Se (religious extremism in Kashmir and the North-East, respectively), Bombay (Bombay riots), Yuva (a modern day Naxal-type student movement reminiscent of 1970’s Calcutta). Kannathil Muthamittal, interestingly my first Tamil movie viewing with subtitles instead of with Hindi-dubbing, has LTTE as its backdrop. Though this blog is strictly for cinema, I must state that it was quite obvious from the movie on which side the director’s sympathy lies, and I found that a tad disturbing not just because they turn children into gun-toting warriors and women into suicide bombers, but also because they were responsible for the assassination of an Indian prime minister. But political views aside, I couldn’t help but develop quite a liking for this otherwise gem of a movie. A small girl and her adopted parents’ quest to find the girl’s real mother takes them into the heart of the violent struggle between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. The movie is very well enacted. Madhavan is spot on as the angry-young-man but loving father; the strikingly beautiful Simran, too, is quite good as an emotionally torn mother. But the real star of the movie, undoubtedly, is the little girl who is hell-bent to find her mother – her surprisingly mature performance belies her age and has played an integral role in making this intense movie a strong commentary on the futility of violence and bloodshed, and the need to harbour love.








Director: Mani Ratnam
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Political Drama
Language: Tamil
Country: India

4 comments:

theseventhart.info said...

Nice to see that you saw the film. Yes, Madhavan is surprisingly good and not so surprisingly, it is for a Mani Ratnam film.

Shubhajit said...

Yeah, he's good, and so is Simran...

Avinash said...

The stand out part of the movie in my opinion is that by the end of the movie one really starts hating the small girl for being insensitive to the parents who brought her up. THATS THE MARK OF A GOOD ACTOR WHERE YOU REACT TO THE CHARACTER..
Another aspect is the music by ARR...Kannattil Muthamittal song male and female verisons are gr8 soothing and the picturisation is gr8...

Manirathnam does wat he does best making actors act.. in this case the lil gal also. if we remember the small gal in anjali also..!! thats a mark of a gr8 director...

Shubhajit said...

Agreed. The hallmark of any competent director is how he manages to make characters get into the viewer's skin. And hats off for succeeding in making the child actor do just a great job. Yeah, I remember Anjali - the child actor in that movie was also excellent. Thanks for posting your views.