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Mynaa article

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Joined: 21 October 2009

Posts: 21008

Posted: 11 December 2010 at 3:38am | IP Logged

Gautaman Bhaskaran's Review: Mynaa

Cast:  Vidharth, Amala Paul, Sethu and Thambi Ramaiyya
Director: Prabusolomon
Rating: ***1/2
Prabusolomon's love story, Mynaa, could well be another Shakespearean tragedy, which, though, is set on the Theni hills of Tamil Nadu, from away from the Bard's favourite Italian landscape, where his plays were dramatised. In line with Tamil cinema's current attempts to stay rooted in the region's characteristic flavour, Mynaa captures in all its authenticity the life and ways of the people there. Even the Tamil dialect peculiar to the hills has been incorporated into the script to give it a ring-true feel.

Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Prabusolomon is even bold enough to present his actors without the least of artifice.  Vidharth Suruli appears in most frames in a crushed "lunge" and a shirt, while Amala Paul as Mynaa is happy to be seen without any grease-paint and in what is called "half-sari". This is a dress that girls wear in their teens, before they graduate into the sari. A tradition that has been eclipsed by the North Indian "salwaar-kameez" culture, the "half-sari" is interestingly being kept alive by Tamil cinema.

Beyond the realistic costumes and customs, Mynaa, takes us into a poignant love story whose players care more for each other's company than creature comforts. Childhood friends, who later become sweethearts, Suruli and Mynaa are devastated when her mother arranges her marriage with a rich guy from a neighbouring village. Suruli in a fit of rage beats up the old woman and finds himself behind bars. In a desperate attempt to stop Mynaa's marriage, he escapes from jail and elopes with her. Chased and caught by two policemen on a Diwali day, the four begin a journey back home through the wooded hills. And what a journey it turns out to be.  Fraught though it is with terrifying moments, the trip eventually helps create a rare rapport between the convict and the cops, angry at first for having to stay away from their homes on a Festival.

Extremely natural performances by the lead pair and the policemen (Sethu and Thambi Ramaiyya) make the movie a meaningful watch. On the flip side is Tamil cinema's recent obsession with the dark and the tragic. Mynaa could have been a little less gloomy.


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