Film: "Ammavin Kaipesi"; Cast: Shantanoo Bhagyaraj, Iniya, Revathi, Thangar Bachchan and Meenal; Director: Thangar Bachchan; Rating: ***
Filmmaker Thangar Bachchan, known for his offbeat films such as "Azhagi" and "Thendral", weaves an emotional tale of motherly love and how relationships are distanced by technology. With no big names associated with it, "Ammavin Kaipesi" hits the right chords and keeps you engaged throughout. Of course, there are moments of highs and lows, but in essence, it is an effort and a plot worth special mention.
Based on an eponymous novel written by the director, the story of the film revolves around an ageing mother and her nine children, who are only connected through mobile phones. The mother, who is forced to stay away from her children in isolation, creates a strong liking for her mobile phone, which she guards and protects with much care as she believes it's her only way to stay connected with her family. Will the mother forever maintain her relationship through the mobile phone or not forms the rest of the story.
Thangar presents the story in such a way that two interpretations can be drawn from it. Firstly, the focus is on how technology helps people to be connected irrespective of the places they are in. Secondly, it also focuses on how technology has paved the way to the distance in a relationship. For instance, since there are mobile phones and internet, people seldom take out time to meet their family members or even parents, for that matter. Of course, as a viewer you're free to choose what's right from your perspective, but the director needs special mention for giving the audience the opportunity to put on their thinking hats and ponder over the story. Brilliant!
Yes, the film is relatively slow and patience-testing, but it is definitely worth the time and money spent. The director keeps everything as real as possible, but doesn't attempt to tamper with the setting of the film or its characters.
The actors have played their part quite well, and especially Shantanoo and Thangar have excelled in their respective roles. Iniya, after her award-winning performance in "Vaagai Sooda Vaa", shows maturity in overall acting.
Kishore's editing is crisp and reminds us why he walked home with a National award for his work in "Aadukalam", while Rohit Kulkarni's music was poignant and melodious.
Thangar's screenplay, which is slow at times, maintains high emotional quotient throughout the film. Having called the film an emotional tale, let me also clarify that it isn't tear-jerking. If you find moments that may give work to your tear glands, then please know that it is completely based on the person who is watching it, and not intentional.
Watch "Ammavin Kaipesi" with your mother to enjoy to the fullest.