There are films like Ardh Satya, Saaransh, Kakka Muttai, Visaranai and many more that concentrate on an issue that we as people are facing in everyday life and they reflect in reality so much, that we forget we are watching a film and immerse ourselves into the film much more. Few films demand us to be drawn into the situation and give us emotional weightage behind a simple and regular news item. Kartavyam belongs to that category.
Nayantara is known as Lady Superstar in Tamil Cinema and this recent release of hers made that stamp authentic because of her performance and screen presence. Such film, Arramm, got dubbed in Telugu as Kartavyam and it is going to release on this Friday. Let’s see what it has to offer for our weekend entertainment.
A collector, Madhuvarshini (Nayantara) is being questioned by her senior official, who is more pro-government. His questions try to frame her as Anti-government, as she tries to pull off a serious rescue mission. He tries to peel out the layers behind her emotional decisions and tries to make a sense out of her side of the story.
She narrates the entire incident that led to this inquiry on her as answers to his questions. In a village, Vempadu, which is suffering with severe drought from past six years, farmers have become daily labour and they are trying to find drinking water by travelling miles. Bullabbayi (Ramachandran Durairaj) and his family is hit hard by fate when their young daughter, Dhansika (Mahalakshmi) falls into an unclosed 120m long bore well. What did Madhuvarshini do to rescue her? Could she rescue her? If so, why is she being questioned? Why is she called Anti-government? Did she fail? Watch the film for answers ..
Nayantara commands respect for her role in the movie and looks highly authentic as a collector. Even though her dressing style resembles more of Amma Jayalalitha, she manages to stay clear of any comparisons. Her screen presence gives the movie more strength to not deviate from the main story.
Ramachandran Durairaj and Sunu Lakshmi give performances of their life in the roles of parents of young Dhansika and her elder brother. They look authentic and not even for a second leave their character. They form the emotional crux of the story and are phenomenal.
Other actors are also fittingly cast in their roles and they give us a complete authentic feel of watching real life incidents happening in front of our eyes.
Om Prakash, the Cinematographer, delivered some of the cool frames that we have ever seen in a disastrous-event driven movie. The movie portrays the disaster in a very realistic way that the drama doesn’t feel like manufactured but it is highly authentic. Art department and Camera, are necessary tools to create that illusion and Om Prakash, delivers.
Music by Ghibran is more about adding back ground score to the emotional scenes in the situation. We see the struggle of the main lead on screen and can also experience by hearing to his score.
Editor Ruben, could have cut off some of the unnecessary scenes that only extend the length of the movie but doesn’t improve on its emotional value. They just delay the ultimate climax and that, at times, is frustrating in a tight one event film.
Gopi Nainar, is collecting all the praises and accolades for the film and deservingly too. His eye for authenticity in a more mainstream film and penchant to deliver a complete documentary news reel kind of a subject with high drama are commendable. He gives a character to the situation and peels off the layers, in showing how costly and arrogant is negligence.
But even though he is highly fruitful in executing most of his film, some of the actors seem over dramatic. Also, his choice of satire needed to come more from on ground situations than by forced in-studio discussions. The main event in the film which is far more layered and interesting gets sidelined and delayed because the run-time requirement is met by some unnecessary scenes. But his choice to not give Madhuvarshini, the main lead, a complete background but just asking us to understand her character by her decisions during a situation is highly innovative and praiseworthy.
The movie tries to give an ode to growing authentic filmmaking in Tamil Cinema, with the surge of new age directors. Tamil Cinema, while trying to shine in the glory of box office stars and mass masala commercial cinema, it is giving equal opportunity to alter that with more and more content driven films.
Kartavyam stands in the line of Kakka Muttai, Maina, Paruthiveeran, Nadodigal in its portrayal of character authenticity with some flaws. But it gives us stuff to reflect upon while keeping us hooked to the main plot of the movie without deviating too much. It is a hard-hitting sensible message film that needs your presence at a theatre near-by.