Sunday 10 March, 2013
Starring: V. Ravichandran, Meera Jasmine, Namitha, Bullet Prakash, Rangayana Raghu, Prakash Raj, Sharan,
Lakshman, Shankar Aswath
Director: V. Ravichandran
Producer: Dinesh Gandhi
Music Dir: V. Harikrishna
Singers: S.P. Balsubramanyam, Chithra, Srinivas, Anuradha Sriram, Tippu, Suma Shasthry, L.N Shasthry,
Anand (Ravichandran) is a gentle and kindly soul, who would not knowingly hurt anyone. He is unemployed. His passion is playing Chess. Jasmine D?Souza (Meera Jasmine) is a 19-year-old Music Teacher, who plays the violin. They are childhood friends.
Jasmine?s father, David D?Souza (Rangayana Raghu) is a Cake Maker who designs and makes ornately decorated cakes for a living. His wife, Stella, died ten years ago, but he still feels her presence, and often talks to her, believing she is still there, beside him. He tells Anand and his two close friends, Sharan (Sharan) and Prakash (Bullet Prakash), who all help by delivering the cakes he has designed, that his wife comes in his dreams at night, and he sees her in every corner of the house during the day. David is fond of Anand ? he says that Anand protects his daughter.
Anand lives in a joint family, with his father, an older brother, his wife and their two children: and with his younger brother. Everyone in the family tells him he is useless, because he does not work to earn money, and plays chess instead. However, his father secretly encourages Anand in his desire to become a Chess Champion, but cannot do this openly in front of the rest of the family.
He plays in a Chess Championship, and wins, against Michael (Prakash Raj), a rich man?s son. Michael is annoyed, and tells him that he will regret winning one day.
At this point two sisters appear. The older one is Dr. Pavitra, a psychiatrist, who has brought up her younger sister, Anju, since the death of her parents. Anju is living in a fantasy world, dreaming of a lover, who looks like Anand. She runs out alone in the streets, looking for the lover of her dreams. But Pavitra also has a dream lover, Malla, from a previous birth, whom she awaits. The problem is that he also looks like Anand. One day Anju bumps into Anand, sparks fly, and they are both left in a trance-like state. She is described in the film as a ?fat girl?, but she is very attractive, and Anand has fallen in love with her. Sharan and Prakash take Anand to see a psychiatrist, who happens to be Dr. Pavitra. She sees Anand, and thinks he is her Malla from a previous birth. But Anand sees Anju, and says that she rammed into him, and thus began their love-story.
Anand wants to join the Chess Academy, but his brother will not provide the money to pay his fees. However, Jasmine?s father provides the money, by selling the wedding ring that belonged to his late wife. Shortly afterwards, he dies too, and Jasmine is left alone in the world: but now alone, because Anand takes her to live with his family. He is deeply in love with Anju, and his romance is encouraged by Jasmine ? but at first Anju misunderstands the relationship between Anand and Jasmine, and is very jealous. Anand?s family find Jasmine very charming, and they quickly come to love her, and think that she would be a good wife for Anand, but they both explain to the family that they are friends, and they can never be anything else than friends. He wants to marry Anju.
Michael turns up, to make good his promise that one day, Anand would regret winning his match against him. His father tries to buy Michael a place in the Chess Academy, and in the Indian Championship. Watch the film to find out the problems created, and how they are resolved.
1. Dhim Dhim
2. Nee Haanga Nodabyaada
3. Nooku Nuggalu
4. O Beautiful Lady
5. Sarigama (Bit Music)
6. Sarigama (Duet)
7. Sarigama (Female)
Released Year: 2010
Running Time: 139 minutes/Colour/Kannada
This film is a remake of two films which were released simultaneously in 2003, ?Vasantham? (Telugu), and ?Priyamanan Thozhi? (Tamil). I have not seen either of the original versions, but the Kannada film is a very well-made film. V. Ravichandran, who also directed the film, is perfect in his starring role (somehow I cannot think of anyone doing it better), as are Meera Jasmine and Namitha. Rangayana Raghu is a delightful character, as usual, given to drinking! Bullet Prakash, Prakash Raj, Sharan, are excellent in their supporting roles, as are the rest of the cast. The songs are excellent.
However, this film is rather unique in another way. It shows a lot of things about Indian Culture, and about life in India.
1. Childhood friendship. Often Indian children become childhood friends, and this is an everlasting friendship. It?s often seen in films. It may be between two boys or between two girls, or between a boy and a girl, as is the case here. As they get older, sometimes the bow will fall in love with the girl, or vice versa ? and this love is not reciprocated ? the other one of pair will regard the relationship as nothing but friendship. In the context of this film, this seems so odd, because they both care very deeply about each other, and they are both deeply fond of each other ? but as friends.
2. The Joint Family. In the west, and increasingly in Indian culture, when a couple get married, they will set up home on their own. But it has long been a tradition in India that the man will take his bride to live with his family. They all live together, sometime harmoniously but sometimes not.
3. The attitude after a death. In Hindu households, when a member of the family dies, they hang a garlanded photo of the person who has died, and often talk to the photo as if to the person, as if the person was still alive. In this film, Jasmine?s father talks to his wife who died ten years previously, and believes her to be still there in the house with him.
4. Re-incarnation. At a Hindu Wedding Ceremony, the couple walk round the sacred flame seven times, signifying their desire to be with each other in this and the subsequent re-incarnations, seven in all. Pavitra believes Anad to be her lover, Malla from a previous birth.
5. The Wedding Night, Suhaag Raat (Hindi), Modala Ratre (Kannada). This has significance as the final culmination of the marriage ceremony, more so than in the west. Postponing it as in this film, is seen as a sacrifice.
6. Self Sacrifice. This is often seen in Indian films. A boy in love with a girl who loves someone else ? he is willing to give up the girl, so that she may find elsewhere the happiness that she feels he cannot give her. His love is unselfish. Here Jasmine?s father makes a sacrifice to allow Anand to have a place in the Chess Academy, when his family don?t support him.
7. ?Buying? things for your children. Michael?s father tries to buy Michael a place in the Chess Academy and tournament. Films often depict people paying bribes for Jobs, University Places Examination Passes, all sorts of things. I am not Indian, so I cannot comment on this, but all my Indian friends assure me it is true, and some even give examples from their own lives.
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