Mr.Jayakaanthan is probably one of the most important novelists and essayists writing in Tamil. His work is compelling, often unorthodox and controversial but always thought-provoking. The characters in his stories often challenge social mores and cultural norms out of sheer necessity or for personal reasons. On the surface, Oru Nadigai Natakam Pakiral deals with the issue of matrimony and whether it is a necessary rite before two people can happily live together as a couple. Given the conservative cultural, social and moral standards of South India, this is a bold and controversial issue even by today's relatively progressive standards. It examines the issue not only from society's viewpoint but also from the characters' perspective and how they must adjust to this apparently unconventional arrangement. The irony of the situation is revealed and explored when one of the characters falls ill - the issue then takes on a legal angle as well. This is a literary as well as a cinematic classic brought to life admirably by Lakshmi, Srikanth, Naagesh and YGP - all of whom give strong restrained and convincing portrayals of the characters. Kudos to the director as well. Ultimately though, the success belongs to Mr. Jayakaanthan for providing us with well crafted socially relevant literary art. Tamil literature, cinema, culture and society seriously needs more people like Mr. Jayakaanthan to broaden the horizons.
- Sep 6, 2002
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