I never imagined that I would be so awe-struck at a film that missed out on many things. ‘naan kadavul’ by bala is so strange to me that I wonder if I can ever say what happened during and after the hours I was watching the film. To begin with ARYA! I have never felt that I should take an actor’s hand in my palms and say, looking into his eyes, “you were wonderful”. I had felt that way with balasingh, but arya was different- I do not know him. Perhaps it was a casting coup, but the young man had worked. He had a sculpted, Romanesque body, cold eyes, and briskness that all made me think of just one word- divinity. He was divine in his movement and in his demeanor. He was shiva, he was rudhran. He was fabulous. I cannot say the same about the leading female artiste who was so artificial that all the sympathies drummed up in the script and the musical score still were inadequate to make my eyes wet.
Bala as a director? I still do not know. Fassbinder and Polanski, not to forget Kubrick, have all made me uncomfortable but astounded, but with bala, I do not know whether I can ever empathize with him. I do sympathize with him, knowing the hurdles of making a film, but he does not strike a chord in my soul. i however should thank him for sparing the gory details that he is capable of showing in the climax. Jayamohan? I have read people writing about him, and could never go through any of his five books that I possess. My personal feeling is that balakumaran would have written better dialogues, as he could have got into the character of the ‘hero’ more easily. Let me make it clear that in my personal literary ratings they do not vary with each other. If ever there was one person who understood to underscore the film it was ilayaraja. If vaali did indeed write that om sivoham song then I may perhaps never criticize any crap that he will definitely write in future.
Beyond the film, the concept- that God is there, and passive is wonderful. The god just lurks in the background and opens its eyes only when stirred- not by chants, not by poetry but by pain. The evil too undergo the pain of being evil just as how the maximum-good (the number into which I would most willingly subscribe), undergo the pain. One awaits punishment in pain and the other deliverance in the same. You need to cry from your soul and you will be delivered. Death as the deliberate delivery of a still-born suffering, is the message that got lost. Though some may scorn at the use of the mentally disabled, it was needed to show that impotent pain is more than an immature one.
Thanks bala, for chosing to make arya do this. I await a more diligent script.art comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.