19 November 2008 | Chrysanthepop
The Unconditional Love Of Two Parents
Mani Ratnam's 'Kannathil Muthamittal' is another of the movie from his 'political terror' series (along with films like 'Roja', 'Bombay' and 'Dil se'). It tells an intense story about 9 year old Amudha who, with the help of her adopted parents, seeks to find her birth mother in Sri Lanka. The movie is set with the backdrop of the civil war in Sri Lanka. With the help of the actors, Ratnam terrifically demonstrates the depth of the relationships between the adopt parents and the child. Their unconditional love for Amudha brings them all the way to war-driven and terror stricken villages in search for Amudha's answers. In a beautiful scene, even after being attacked and escaping a fatal encounter, Indra, for her daughter's satisfaction, bravely suggests without hesitation that they go to the park to check if Shama has arrived.
The cinematography is wonderful and the sets and the exotic locations are mindblowing. In addition to that there is A.R. Rahman's soulful score. I loved the songs, the title song being my favourite. The soundtrack reminds us Rahman's older music. I did not like how the last song was visualized on the father and daughter. It uses the clichéd meditation scenes, the Buddha statue (ridiculously positioned at different angles) and the typical monks-walking-at-the back. While many of the songs are beautiful, they look a little out of place. A question, why was Amudha so obsessed with finding her biological mother while she asks no questions regarding her biological father.
'Kannathil Muthamittal' boasts of some very strong performances. Simran delivers a beautifully understated performance who loves her daughter no matter what. Madhavan is sublime. His intensity and restraint prove what a skillful actor he is. Young actress P.S. Keerthana holds her own with these professional actors. The film centres around her and she does a fine job by pulling it off. Nandita Das is fabulous. Prakash Raj is irritating and his Sinhalese is all wrong.
Though 'Kannathil Muthamittal' revolves mainly around the Tamil people, the film is, in a way, arguably a bit partial as it shows how the war has affected the Tamil people in Sri Lanka without implying how this also had severely dangerous consequences for the non-Tamil Sri Lankan. Then again, the war is only a part of the film as 'Kannathil Muthamittal' is more about the unconditional love between two parents and their daughter.
This is another outstanding movie by Mani Ratnam before he went downhill with movies like 'Yuva' and 'Guru'.