28 July 2016 | pravinravindranpillai
OK Kanmani - Definitely much beyond mere 'OK'
I happened to watch OK Kanmani yesterday. First of all, let me begin by saying that the movie is definitely much beyond mere 'OK'. If Mouna Ragam, Alaipayuthey & OK Kanmani were to be clustered together as Mani Ratnam's 'love trilogy' then I would definitely consider this movie as a prequel to its predecessors, as the other two had dealt with post-marital themes whereas, this one explores pre-marital relationships of contemporary urban youth. The casting seemed very fresh. Dulquer Salman, Nithya Menen, Prakash Raj, Leela Samson and others have offered some gritty and seminal performances in terms of acting. The movie is undoubtedly a true gem and a definite landmark in all their respective filmographies. The diction of the lead pair does not even show a hint of their obvious malayali accent and seem to enunciate their respective lines quite fluently in spite of being shot entirely on sync sound except for a few scenes. However, the main highlight of this movie is its resplendent cinematography by the very versatile P.C.Sreeram who packs quite a punch this time with his snazzy frames and groovy lights that makes the movie seem like a radiant visual romantic poem. The Art Department surely deserves special appreciation. For instance, there is a scene which reveals Ganapathy's (Prakash Raj) study where we see an old cranky desktop computer and few books neatly displayed in the shelf beside. Such small nuances do play a major role in establishing the character's predilection. Songs composed by the maestro himself have already emerged as trend-setting chart busters and fit inextricably with the narrative instead of merely being distinctive tracks which has got nothing to do with the story-line thus, offering an entirely new experience to the viewer. Contrary to a few reviews that I had read online prior to watching the movie which claims the first half to have intermittent lags, I felt that the movie picks up pace right from the word go and maintains momentum till its dramatic culmination. The dialogues follow the same old pithy and succinct pattern which is indubitably a renowned trademark of the auteur. Overall, OKK is certainly not 'the best' movie of Mani Ratnam hitherto considering his extensive body of work but, it definitely has the potential to become both an inexorable blockbuster and a cult classic in the years to come. Hats off to this 58 year old gutsy genius who has valiantly envisaged a modern-day taboo theme of 'live-in relationship' and churned out a beautiful love story which is both realistic and relatable to the contemporary youth of India. In precis, the film gives us a message that even below an attenuated layer of ostensible modernism, there lies a strong substratum of traditional values still embedded in today's young generation which is yet to become extinct.