Onbathu Roobai Nottu - Reviews
Starring :Archana, Nasser, Sathyaraj
Director :Thangar Bachchan
Real life on celluloid
The story revolves around Madhava Padaiyachi living in Pathirakottai, a village near Panrutti. He has a big family and a big heart. The story, which is told through the memories of the aging protagonist, goes on to narrate the village life.
The initial scenes show the rural life revolving around agricultural activities. The caste equations prevailing in the rural life is also depicted naturally in the narration. The status of the Dhobhi community in the village is made to understand on course of narration.
The main story of course, is about the life of Madhava Padayachi, fondly called as Madhavar or Madhava Ayya. He is hard working and generous towards needy. He brings up his family and helps his dearest friend Khaja Bhai and his wife Kameela (played by Nasser and Rohini) to come up in life.
The time passes by and the family becomes a big joint family. Life moves on smoothly till Velayi (Archana), the wife of Madhavar, comes to know about his youngest son€™s love affair with a girl belongs to the Dhobhi community. She is shattered and so is Madhavar.
To make things worse, Madhavar€™s younger brother influences Madhavar€™s sons and daughter in laws to revolt against Madhavar€™s "autocratic" functioning within the family. The crack sets in. The set up of the family gets shaken. The revolt by the sons comes as a humiliating shock to the aging couple. Finally they decided to go away from the family.
This brings back Khaja Bhai and Kameela into the picture. They support their friends. The aged couple is obstinate enough not to go back to the sons, who had humiliated them.
But... deep down the heart, the passion is still alive to see and live with the children.
Could they ever meet their children again and rediscover the unadulterated pleasure of being together? Could the sons manage without their parents?
Thankar Bachachn is one of the rare filmmakers in Tamil industry, who believe in story rather than stars or fanfare. He has chosen a strong story and selected the cast accordingly. His handling of the stars and execution of the scenes are praiseworthy.
Onbathu Rubai Note has many poignant moments. The scenes when the families of Madhavar and Khaja Bhai part ways (twice) are noteworthy. The meeting of friends after a long time has come out well. The portrayal of the friendship between Madhavar and Khaja Bhai is neat. The love track told along with the main story is pleasant.
The emotional upheavals and outbursts form the major aspect of the story. The emotional quotient, which is the strength of the narrative, also weakens it, as it is stretched beyond a point. Archana€™s shock by knowing the love affair of her son is well portrayed and convincing. But you get tired when you to see too many of such scenes. The emotional imbalance, tilting towards melodrama, is the aspect that works against the overall impact of the film.
The characterization of the protagonist is stereotype and predictable. The initial scenes create a perfect cinematic premise to make him a martyr. The proceedings do throw some surprises with many characters operating simultaneously. But the development of the story that tells you the journey of the protagonist is single dimensional. Everything that happens does happen only to make the protagonist€™s life worse. He doesn€™t have any relief. Even if gets any, it is short lived.
This aspect - lack of complexities of real life - weakens the impact of the hard work made by the director and the actors. The director could have thought of more convincing incidents to mark the turning points (the departure of the couple and the timing of the death of Velayi) of the life of the protagonist.
Sathyaraj and Archana are vying each other to the slot of top performer. Both have got in to the skins of their respective characters. Sathyaraj is a seasoned performer but he is not known for immersing into the character. For once, we have got to see the actor disappearing and the character emerging. He has ably portrayed a range of emotions. His body language and dialogue delivery perfectly suit the character.
Archana is a revelation. The veteran actor, who had received National Award for acting has done wonders. One wonders why Tamil cinema is not utilizing her talent. Her outbursts as well as the expressions of subdued and suppressed emotions are amazing. Her powerful eyes convey a lot.
Nasser and Rohini excel in relatively lesser roles. They have ably portrayed the ups and downs of the lives of their characters. The deep friendship with a touch of gratitude has been well expressed by both of them.
All the other actors including choreographer Sivashankar have done their part well. The young lovers - played by Inba Nila and Nitesh Kumar - do impress. Thankar has shaped the small roles well. Everyone who appears on screen gets noticed.
Bharadwaj has given the touch of classical seventies in his musical score. Vairamuthu has penned some outstanding lines that go well with the script. S.P. Balasubramaniyam€™s rendition of €˜Maargazhiyil€™ song is excellent.
Thankar€™s cinematography is top notch. He has captured the natural beauty of the village.
Overall, Onbathu Rupai Note is a worthwhile effort to create a lively experience of real life on screen.