The producer cum director Samuthrakani selected a good social message to tell the audience in his latest film ‘Appa’. In recent days, he used to tell many messages to the society through all the films he acted. So it is not a surprise to see him in a full pledged character of an advisor in his own production.
Samuthrakani did a good job as a producer. He brought suitable actors and technicians on the board to make this film a watchable one. There is no doubt in it. And the director Samuthrakani had brilliantly co-ordinate all these talents perfectly to make it a success.
The artists and technicians had done their job very well. All the actors in the character of all children and their parents have to be mentioned in this regard specially. All these factors made this film a good one. Well done Mr Producer, Mr Writer and Director Samuthrakani!
In this film, the director is telling about a social issue related to the school children and their parenting. And it dealt about everything about the method of child birth (delivery) to the method education, especially about a side effect of the current private school educational system.
The director explained some truth regarding to this issue very boldly and convincingly. We can see many examples for that. They are many in number, so we can avoid mentioning those now and let the viewers may find it on the screen.
Watching this film sincerely, I think the director had forgotten that he was making a feature film! Especially in the first half, all the viewers are feeling like they are sitting in front of a doctor for counseling about parenting.
The director himself is acting in the main role and he is preaching from the first scene in which he was introduced. Of course, the director had mentioned in a dialogue that, that is his characterization. A character, Thambi Ramayya, who is the second lead in the story himself is running away from his neigbour house. But the viewers had no way to run away from the theatre. (Because they paid for the ticket!)
Only from the scene in which the news about the suicide of a boy came, really the film got started with the pace, up to the scene in which the doctor (Sasikumar) came. (Here Sasikumar started to preach instead of Samuthrakani). The film seems really a good, engaging one in this portion. Only for that gripping script and good work in this portion, the viewers have to bear all other nonsense in the film.
That good portion is making the viewers to forget all those flaws. That is the real success of the director in this film.
As mentioned earlier, preaching and convincing is the characterization of Samuthrakani’s role, and it is well made. As per the story, this characterization is not started from the birth of his child. And surely there might be many months from marriage to the child birth. So, he might preach and convinced his wife.
For example, he convinced his wife for an old method of delivery. (Some dialogues are there to justify it as the brothers scolding Samuthrakani.) He thought it as a novel idea. But he was walking outside the house when his wife is struggling inside for the delivery, as usual in all old films. Is it the revolutionary idea?
Director shows three types of parents in this film. The variation in their style and intentions are well crafted. But the director also had bringing up the child in his own way, by neglecting the wishes of his wife. Then what is the difference between the character of Samuthrkani and the character of Thambi Ramayya?
Director was telling about the current kindergarden school education style by a single example of project work (Making Tajmahal). And it is the main twist of the story, which makes the boy to be shifted to government school.
The director knitted the script so cunningly there, but lost control when the scenes about the boy missing in a bus. Usually any father will accompany the children first and then only will allow them to travel alone. The director didn’t even remember this logic in this sequence. And showing a eunuch, who had saved the child (Thank God for no dialogues there) and the director’s preaching about the his belief in the manhood is found tooooo much.
But an excellent point was crafted in this sequence by showing other boys crying for the missed child. This is one of the finest attempts in this film. But the director used the same technique in the second half, when the news came as one boy had attempted for suicide in the hostel. And it became the most awkward scene in this film. (That made this good film as an usual film on teenage love came in Tamil in the past. And this scene questions the difference of friendship and love in this film seriously.)
There are many cooked up scenes in this film like this. Luckily, the incidents and the background are new. So they escaped from the clichés up to a limit.
Father Samuthrakani is talking to his teenage son (tenth class student!) about the sexual eagerness of the teenage. The creator thought it is a novel thing! Viewers also will accept it and appreciate it. He is bringing a girl of same age, as the boy told about her, to his house and asked his son to talk freely to that girl. Well!
Then what is about the girl’s and her parents’ view in this regard?
Did they know what they are doing? Did the director told about the feeling of his son to the girl? Or the director is using the girl as a tool for reforming his son?
What is the difference between friendship and love? This question will not arise when seeing an usual commercial movie. Here the film is propagated as a social awareness film and a film with a social message. So the question has to be answered by the creator.
Did the director is coming to tell the infactuation in the teenage is the real love? Or all friendships in this age are infacuations?
This question will arise in almost all the scenes, from the director asked the girl to inform her mother when coming to their house next time, to the scene in which the girl was brought from her home to the hospital to see the boy.
The director forcefully brought the representation of various caste and religion in the characters. This is not a bad thing and he done it neatly to give a colour as the film is acceptable to all class of people. It is very much needed in a commercial movie to tell a good message.
But the director didn’t show the lifestyle or the living conditions of those characters. Especially the students! Really, that is the core of all problems in the educational system.
In a scene, in which a government school is introduced, a boy was helping a physically challenged boy to go to urinal. What the message, the director want to tell through this scene is heart warming. (Even though it is totally illogical!) But the director didn’t show the living condition and freedom of study in the class rooms there.
A scene showing the interaction of the students among themselves and the exposure of the students to the current world in the government school will be more powerful. And films of this category are needed scenes like that only.
The situation in the residential (jail type!) school may be an eye opener for some parents. After watching this film, at least one or two parents will check the aspects dealt in this film before they join their children in such schools.
That will be the real success of the director!
But in real, many parents want the jail type discipline for their children. May be they want to avoid a few things like the dark room punishment as told in this film.
The director is preaching many good things whenever he came to the screen. He feel proud to brought up his son well. That son is calling his cousin (girl) by using the words ‘ennadi’ even when he is seeing her for the first time! What the decency the ‘father’ taught him throughout the life so far!
Is it the message he want to tell through this film?
One good aspect of the film should be mentioned definitely. That is, all the characterization of actors had been maintained till the end very neatly. Especially the character of the wife of Samuthrakani.
The dialogues here and there made a good impact on this script to keep the film engaging and to deliver some messages. (Even it is too much).
But the dialogue like ‘karuppu singam Yugabharathi’ should be avoided. Even though the poetry release episode became totally melodrama, it made the viewers to feel. Like the ‘old is gold’ always.
Two scenes must be mentioned specially. One, in which the girl is talking about her wish to study agriculture and another boy and girl talking about her sister and the friend of director in the background! Very well made composition! (Even there also the director preaches as usual.)
And the second one, in the last sequence, the lead boys are talking to the room mate of the dead boy as their own friend. Even though it was not shown prominently, it is a class touch!
One greedy point to end this review: ‘if the director talked normally without preach in every scene and if he blasted only when arguing with Thambi Ramayya in the last time, what will be the effect of the dialogue or the message! It will be surely more powerful than all the dialogues collectively in this film. He missed the chance!
Hope for the better next time!