Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Favorite Tamil Love Stories - IV

Kaadhal Koattai



Romance does not offer many opportunities for variation (boy and girl meet each other; they fall in love; the romance faces some roadblocks; they surmount it or commit suicide - thats pretty much it!). So any movie that offers something new within those boundaries automatically catches my attention. Kaadhal Koattai was one of the few movies that presented something completely new and unsurprisingly, went on to become a blockbuster and a true trendsetter.

While we've grown up on the concept of "love at first sight", Kaadhal Koattai threw that idea for a loop by making the hero and heroine fall in love without seeing each other. Just the freshness of that concept grabbed us and took us along as Ajith(for whom the film marked another comeback) and Devayani(in a career-defining role after playing a vamp in Sivasakthi) fell in love just through words. The concept of a love that "begins in their hearts and ends in their eyes" was fantastic and idealistic at the same time and paved the way for a number of other movies where love happened without the hero and heroine setting eyes on each other.

The film also had a climax that lived up to the fresh story. As Ajith and Devayani keep missing eachother, they really have us rooting for them and that is a sign of their romance involving us. I can't remember another movie that generated so much suspense when moving towards a climax that was a foregone conclusion. The suspense is ratcheted up with one lost opportunity after another and when Ajith finally pulls off his shirt to reveal the sweater that Devayani stitched for him, we really do get goosebumps!

With such a wonderful concept, it is frustrating that the supporting characters are so poorly etched. Heera is a caricature and some of her acts are irritating and silly. Karan too had a different philosophy but it was carried to such an extreme that it came off looking artificial and cinematic. Characters like Devayani's sister and brother-in-law and her suitor(no guesses for who plays the role- Raja!) were also artificial inspite of all of them displaying some unique characteristics.

Inspite of these missteps, the fresh story and scintillating climax make sure that Kaadhal Koattai occupies a special place my heart and in the history of Tamil cinema romances.

3 Comments:

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Karthik Sriram said...

Yes, you hit the nail on its head when you said that even though we knew how the movie would end, we were still interested in the "means" more than the "end".

 
At 2:56 PM, Anonymous ram said...

another favorite of mine...perfectly agree with you on the "idealistic" bit...loved the way he presented the concept of "nee ingu sugamey, naan angu sugamaa" (from the "nalam nalam ariya aaval" song)

to me, what held the second half - apart from the stunning climax - was devyani's brilliant characterization. her loyalty towards her true love (in spite of being swayed a little by a person, whom she didnt know was the same) and the way she dealt with ajith were wonderful...ditto for the way she deals with raja and karan...

wonderful movie...

anyways, i can see this list building towards "idhayathai thirudaathey" which i know is ur fav...

 
At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anon21 said...

I think that Manivannan started getting noticed as a viable comedian after his role in this movie...

 

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