It’s the season for anthologies, and Amazon Prime Video offers us one based mostly on the theme of “New Beginnings”. The primary brief is by Sudha Kongara. It options Jayaram, Urvasi, Kalidas Jayaram and Kalyani Priyadarshan — and it has two terrific conceits. Considered one of them I can not reveal. I’ll simply say it’s about how love actually makes us youthful — really feel youthful, look youthful. Certainly, the title is Ilamai Idho Idho. (There’s one other Ilaiyaraaja tune homage within the remaining brief, Miracle, directed by Karthik Subbaraj. Right here, the tune is Oru kili uruguthu.) The opposite candy contact is a small nod to Alaipaayuthey. A pair makes a plan to observe the film. Then, as they’re compelled to spend rising quantities of time collectively as a result of lockdown, they start to bicker just like the characters performed by Madhavan and Shalini.
However the movie falls into the final temper of this anthology: nice however generic. A whole lot of it is extremely broadly directed, virtually like an enormous musical quantity. The musical rating is even greater: it “acts” greater than the actors. However the final scene left me with a contented coronary heart, as did among the efficiency bits. I liked the look on Kalidas’s face when the woman he likes chooses to stroll into his room (of the various accessible in the home). I liked the way in which Urvasi says “Excellent”, when requested how the tea is. All of the shorts characteristic a second or two which are simply… “Excellent” — like Shruti Haasan‘s vulnerability when chatting with her mom in Espresso, Anybody?, the brief directed by Suhasini Mani Ratnam, who performs the oldest sister. Anu Hasan rounds up the trio of siblings.
This brief — woven across the mom — might even have been referred to as Miracle. The self-esteem is that every sister has a brush with some type of motherhood. A being pregnant. A son with developmental points. And a daughter with psychological points. However there’s an excessive amount of articulation within the type of dialogues (you hear greater than you’re feeling), and the emotional impression is muted: once more, nice however generic. Rajiv Menon‘s Reunion is about two estranged classmates, performed by Andrea Jeremiah and Sikkil Gurucharan. There’s an outstanding second the place a drug addict (who isn’t judged however handled with sympathy) explains the dependancy: “As a result of my desires have been too large for me”. There’s actual poetry in that line, which comes from a singer. There’s one other lovely glimpse into the within of an individual, when a spouse (performed by the all the time beautiful Leela Samson) complains about her husband’s workaholism after which provides: “However he took superb care of me for 35 years.”
I needed the shorts had matched as much as these moments. The closures to the tales really feel too straightforward. I felt everybody began out with a pricklier theme after which determined to veer, as an alternative, right into a feel-good zone: nice however generic. Gautham Vasudev Menon‘s Avarum Naanum/Avalum Naanum not less than earns its ending. (The bodily lockdown is extrapolated to an “emotional” lockdown.) MS Baskar performs Ritu Varma’s grandfather. The bit that moved me right here was when a person of science transforms, maybe solely momentarily, into a person of religion. A surge of emotion can try this to you, generally. I felt it was too “cutesy” a contact to have the grandfather barge into his granddaughter’s Zoom assembly, however a second later, he remarks that the various voices on the decision made him really feel like his giant, silent home wasn’t silent anymore. Abruptly, it wasn’t “cutesy” anymore. The brief is actually nice nevertheless it isn’t generic: it leaves you with the aftertaste of the imperfections in relationships.
Karthik Subbaraj’s Miracle is the late-a vandhalum latest-a varuven of the bunch. For one, after 4 elegantly mounted shorts set within the upper-class houses of individuals with white-collar jobs, the “low-life” milieu comes as a reduction. And two, the movie is neither nice nor generic: the title justifies itself with this director’s trademark twist, and it made me smile. (Talking of Karthik Subbaraj-isms, there’s a filmmaker character named… Michael.) Bobby Simha and Muthu Kumar plan a form of heist, which… I’ll depart that so that you can uncover, however there’s actual swagger right here, from the writing to the brassy music. The way in which the godman who triggers the proceedings is labored into the plot is the slyest joke of all. The person who guarantees miracles to others is about to find his personal life isn’t going to have one. I’m wondering if Karthik’s begin with brief movies made him use his allotted time so effectively. He’s made higher work, however not less than on this anthology, his work is one of the best.