Anthologies have been slowly becoming mainstream thanks to OTTs being the main source of entertainment where the audience needn’t consume the entirety of a film that’s showcased before them. They can chew the stories as they wish and/or can watch the stories out of the order to have a different perspective than as it’s intended by the editing team. Putnam Puthu Kaalai paved the way for more such anthologies.
The theme of this current anthology film made for Netflix is honour. It’s all right there before our eyes. But we often turn a deaf ear or a blind eye. Of course, it’s also true that not everyone can take the harsh reality the reality of life serves sometimes. Every human being has an equally important right to stay in their own bubble as much as they have a duty to help those who are underprivileged.
The first story
Thangam (Directed by Sudha Kongara) or Naa Bangaram
It tells the story of a young villager, a transperson who wants to become a woman by having a surgery in Mumbai so that she (he) could marry the man she(he) loves. But once it is known that his beloved sister loves the same man, he takes a drastic step whose ripples cannot be undone.
Sudha Kongara is in top form. Her session in Putham Puthu Kaalai is well acclaimed. She did nothing short of an encore here. The story is dealt with in a humanly and natural way. How rural and small town people treat transpersons is shown authentically. Except for the climax which lacks a bit of expected heft, this session launches the film on a satisfactory note. The music is haunting and cinematography is simple.
Kalidas Jayaram is excellent as the gay/transperson.
Note: Next, you go better and watch the Session 4 so as to avoid a thematically spoiler till the very end of the complete run time. Means better watch Vetrimaaran’s story.
But we’ll continue in the regular order.
Love Paana Uttranum (Directed by Vignesh ShivN) or Vaallanu Preminchukonee
It tells the story of twin sisters who come to their village to tell about their love lives to their father but face situation in two different ways. The ending one of the two faces is gruesome and the other just hangs by???
The Vignesh ShivN directorial is a bit more upbeat among the four stories but it has its depressive moments. The way the director approached an explosive subject is lazy. You can watch it for the novelty factor. Or a Nayanthara fan and feels it an obligation to watch Vignesh’s film ;-) but still this film is well acted with Anjali doing a good job as the twins.
The music is whimsical here and the cinematography is good for a Netflix original.
Vaanmagal (Directed by Gautham Vasudeva Menon) or Divi Kumarthe
This segment tells the story of an upper middle class couple who have everything in life as if life itself designed their lives. Beautiful children. Loving marriage of 20 years, own house, and not many debts. An ideal or model life. But as it’s common with such lives, a huge trauma is going to attack their lives. Their youngest kid (daughter) is... by a group of sick minded fellows. How the mother of the family played by a terrific Simran handles this situation and goes through the trauma form the basic point of this segment.
Gautham Menon who directed this has the starring role as the father of the family. A sensible and very essential issue is treated in an equally earnest manner. It is the episode that sets our eyes as well as awakens us to act.
The music and cinematography are first rate and are atmospheric pertaining to the mood of the film. Best segment among all.
Oor Iravu (Directed by Vetrimaaran) or Aa Raatri
The story is as generic as the title suggests but the end result still comes as a shocker. The credit goes to the impactful narration of the master filmmaker. Sai Pallavi stands out among all the actors in this entire anthology in what is actually a weakest character. The atmosphere, the music, the lighting, the expressions on the faces of the artists, the animated and unanimated objects all speaks volumes. Simply, a Vetrimaaran show run by Sai Pallavi.
A well made anthology which speaks about certain things we don’t want to speak always. Solid narrations and the experience of the filmmakers make it watchable. Their efforts are well aided by the actors. Not a specifically must watch.