Friday, December 28, 2007

Evano Oruvan: Film Review

Evano Oruvan is the story of a straight forward middle class man in our present day society. Madhavan plays Sridharan Vasudevan a bank officer going through his routine life as each mundane day fades into the other, his problem is that he is straight as a ruler and doesn't seem to fit in contemporary society. He seethes in anger at every injustice around him and is forced to control it by his family and society.

After a bad day confronting corruption at work, he goes overboard when a shop keeper fails to return Rs.2 charged over the maximum price. He goes on to indulge in various acts of righteous violence against corruption we see in every day life. Though you somehow understand his pent up emotions they can be only described as stupidity by a well educated man.

Unlike the various vigilante super hero movies and super cop movies we have got used to, this is movie is much different. Madhavan is never portrayed larger than life but just 'Evano Oruvan'. The ending is natural and heart breaking, how many times have you seen half the theatre breaking into a spontaneous applause?

Madhavan has come out with the best performance of his career. He carries the whole movie on his shoulders (literally, he's the producer too), his performance is so good that it over shadows two other great performances. Seeman as the pure Tamil speaking introspective cop and Sangeetha as Madhavan's nagging wife also bring out their best. Credit also for the Background Score by Sameer. After watching Evano Oruvan the Tamil remake of the multi award winning Marathi Movie by the same director Nishikanth Kamat you are left in no doubt as to why the original movie was such a success. The Movie easily gets four stars out of five

If you're someone who stops at an orange light only to watch several vehicles after you jump the red light, If you're someone who asks for a second time about that the one or two rupees that the shop keeper charges beyond the MRP, If you're someone who seethes in anger and hesitates to pay a bribe this is a movie you have to watch! It's about me, Is it about you?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Only in Chennai: Centres of Faith

We're so religious that we have pictures of god(s) all over our home, places of work and education also. Children and enterprises are named after god(s). We carry images in our vehicles, key tags, purses. Maybe this is why they say GOD IS EVERYWHERE!

Why leave out the roads somebody thought and now we've a roadside temple in every area. With progress and an ever increasing human and vehicular population these unapproved structures built on public roads invariably become hindrances to the free flow of traffic. By the time the government wakes up to the traffic snarls in the area someone or the other considers the deity 'powerful' and becomes attached to it and the invariable protest when removal of the illegal structures is ordered. With successive governments that have single mindedly pursued power and votes such temples have flourished for fear of antagonising those who are attached to the temple.

While most people are familiar with roundtanas / traffic parks in the middle of roads, but temples?! Only in Chennai do we find such centres of faith occupying not only the centre of our hearts but also the roads too! While visitors to Chennai gape in wonder, this is one of those things that sets Chennai apart from the rest of the world!.

East Coast Road, Thiruvanmiyur


As has been the trend recently, it's most often the judiciary that has come to the rescue of the harassed common man. Last year when the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court ordered the demolition of all structures (more than half were temples of course!) that interfered with flow of traffic, many had hoped for similar measures in Chennai, but the wish has remained unfulfilled. A glimmer of hope last week when the courts ordered the demolition of a temple in the middle of the road in Ashok Nagar, we hope for the sake of Chennai that there's many more such orders to come.

NOTE: If you don't understand my disgust of this Chennaiist, try living on a street with three road side temples and a Church!