Dec 6, 2008


There have been quite a few complalints about the absence of heroine-centric movies in Tamil. In fact, thinking quite deeply about it, even the people like KB who have been known and famous for the female-centric stories have rarely shown a movie with the heroine in the limelight. Nandhini in Manathil Urudhi Vendum is the one that comes to the mind, while analyzing the last 20 or so years of Tamil cinema. In other movies, the role of the female(s) is considerably higher than the average movies but still such movies have been either hero-centric, or, the woman is shown to be at the mercy of the man/dependent. A separate post is required for the detailed analysis, but, in the context of Poo, it is a brilliantly made movie with the heroine as the central character.
Story: To prevent any kind of spoiler, this is what I can say: mMaari (Parvathi), who is happily married, visits her native village for a festival. There, she wants to meet her cousin Thangarasu (Srikanth) whom she knows since their childhood. From a mix of flashback and the real-time events, we get to see their lives through the eyes of Maari.
While doing some googling on this movie, I came to know that Poo is based on a novel. That explains the freshness of the story and the way it plays with the emotions. It is a slow-paced movie but I never had a minute of boredom. With the limited knowledge that we know about the main characters in the first few minutes of the movie, it always keeps us engrossed on what is going to happen next. That means that the screenplay is a successful one. The dialogues too are simple and realistic. Almost every character, including the tea shop owner, who initially appeared to be an unnecessary insert resembling Vadivelu in several scenes, has a role play later.
The movie is a tribute to humanity and the social concepts of friendship, relationship and love. It has to be seen to be experienced. Parvathi as Maari has simply lived that character; she reminded me of Shobha of the previous generation. I hope we can get to see her more in meaningful roles. Srikanth plays his role well. The girl who appears as Maari's friend is a good find too. Other characters help bring the Rajapalayam feel to the movie. 3 songs (Aavarampoo, Maaman, and Dheena) are three lovely melodies; choo choo maari is cute when it comes first and haunting during the second time; and Sivakasi rathiye is an interesting folk number involving two unique people.
In some scenes, I was totally in awe of the writer/director's story-telling power: when a weight falls on Maari's feet, when she tries to remember and recall a phone number, when Maari momentarily meets her lamb, the penultimate scene involving hands, and the 'silence' in the ultimate scene are those which have stayed in the mind. After watching the entire movie, I watched the first 10 minutes of the movie again, which made me view them in a totally new light. Therein lies the beauty of her feelings. At times, we wonder if she is eccentric or obsessed on a character. Her last conversation with her friend in the flashback sequence brilliantly shows her real heart.
I strongly recommend Poo. IMHO, this is better than 'Subramaniapuram' and so is my candidate for the best movie of the year. One random thought before I finish: what is it with the simplest of the titles? 4 years ago, a movie was released with a title that was a part of the title of several dozens of movies before that, and it was a ground-breaking movie, set in the similar background of Madurai. I am talking about 'Kaadhal', which was, coincidentally released in the last weeks of 2004. Now, with 'Poo', the similarities are so striking, and I hope that 'Poo' too becomes a commercial hit.


Nitin said...

umm,unexpected. i didnt think much of this movie because Srikkanth is in it, but I might watch it now after your review. Has this heroine parvathi acted in any movie before, is this the same girl from subramaniyapuram or that jeeva movie thamizh m.a.

Anu said...

I have definitely been reading the good buzz about this movie.. but I dont know if its being shared by the public though. After ur review I think Im going to watch it too..

Anonymous said...

Critics say it is a good film. Unfortunately, the audience we have today are generally those that, either have rubbish taste or are influenced by constant publicity and media, so good films do suffer.

I am glad to hear that the film is good. I liked the music and hear a good film has released.


Raju said...

Nitin, I heard that Parvathi has acted in 6 movies in other South Indian lanaguages, esp. in Malayalam. She is not the girl from Subramanyapuram (Swathi) or Tamil MA (Anjali). She is a new face to the Tamil audience. Srikanth also has delivered a subdued and realistic performance
Anu, yeah.. the public seems to be slowly catching up on the movie, thanks to good word-of-mouth (or it must be mobile?) response.
Kajan, I agree with you. I watched 'Kanchivaram' too; it is a good movie, though the 'National award tag' can be seen in several places throughout. I really hope that Poo does reasonably well at the box office.

tt_giant said...

i saw one or two clips in top ten (cellphone - farmer?) and was kind of impressed. kanchivaram is good too is it?

Anjali said...

To me this movie seems like an old wine in a new bottle. Traces of movies like Azhagi and Thendral were apparent. Mari’s characterization was extreme at certain scenes; be it stoning her friend or running down the hill.

In an interview director Sasi said “ after watching this movie, the female audience should be dissapointed( not the literal meaning ) that they don’t resemble Mari”. I don’t agree with him because though Mari showers unconditional love for Srikanth, yet the measures she takes in between were silly. Mari, by no means the only girl who possess blind expectations, but she’s not the role model girls should look up to.

Nevertheless, the movie isn’t bad. Birth complications due to intrafamilial marriages and delusive religious faith were courageously shown considering the sensitivity of such issues. Kudos to the director! Besides, the characters were true-to-life except Srikanth.

I liked Kanchivaram better. :)

J said...

Hi Raju, I watched this movie yesterday...completely agree with your review. enna solrathu, I loved Maari's character and her friend's too. antha friend vera movie'la paatha gavanam. edhunu chattunu gavanam vara maatenguthu.

So true about the haunting nature of "choo choo" maari song played during the second half. OMG, movie was definitely an experience to me.

LOL @ Nitin' comment "i didnt think much of this movie because Srikkanth is in it," .. me too, avan irukarthunalaa first paaka thonalai...apram saw the team in Koffee with anu and liked the heroine.

will check out Kanchivaram. Madan dialogue writer'a antha movie ku?

Raju said...

Deepak, yeah.. the cellfone part is quite interesting. In fact, the cellfone too plays a part in the movie.. :) Though this movie is based on a novel written in the late 80's, the cellfone part is the director's insertion, to fit into the modern age.
Yeah Kanchivaram is good.. somewhat depressing at times, but a high quality movie
Anjali, I agree about the traces of old movies; but still the treatment was quite fresh, especially the portrayal of the girl's strongly possessive love. About Mari's characterization - yes, agreed again. In fact, the stoning scene goes on to show something beautiful in friendship, so I didnt have any complaint about it.
About what Sasi said, hmm.. I think it depends on the E.Q. of the girls.
For me, Kanchivaram lacked in screenplay and emotions. Makes one feel numb after sometime...
J, I dont remember to have seen the girl anywhere.. in some TV serial, may be?
About Srikanth, his presence alone doesnt guarantee a bad movie.. Hope this movie is like a second coming for him.
I saw Madhan's name in the title under 'Dialogues', with someone else. I believe it is the same Madhan. The dialogs are crisp.