OK Kanmani (OK Bangaram) Review – Welcome Back Maniratnam

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Verdict – A modern take on Maniratnam’s tryst with relationships

Ok Kanmani – Adi (Dulquer) and Tara’s (Nithya Menen) first meeting at a railway station is not an auspicious one. However they soon meet again and take off on a live in relationship filled with no strings as she wants to pursue architecture in Paris and he wants to become rich like Zuckerburg and move to US. Till that happens, they decide to enjoy life as it comes and part with no emotions and sentiments. However that is more easier said than done as we have seen numerous times and how the relationship moves ahead is the crux of the story.

So I guess it is fair to say that Maniratnam is back and back with a bang. It took two really bad movies, Raavanan and Kadal, for him to go back to his roots of filmmaking and find his way through his earlier movies and spin a modern tale of love, marriage and relationships in general. What is refreshing to see is, that the story moves at a pace which is not really fast which makes you lose focus, nor does it witness a lag post interval which is where most movies lose momentum these days and while we are reminded of Alaipayuthe in many scenes and songs, Ok Kanmani holds its own on merit and is a wonderfully crafted movie from the genius. Yes it is the tried and tested formula but who doesn’t enjoy a feel good movie which tugs at your heart strings.

Maniratnam is back to doing what he has done so well in his most memorable movies. The scenes between Adi and Tara and their interactions are so realistic that you feel that it is something you have seen happen in real life and the fact that the scenes are shot in sync sound adds to the realism of every said word and emotion. Some stand out scenes which you can enjoy in the movie are ,when Tara and Adi meet in church and exchange details to the amusement of others and have a phone conversation in the middle of a wedding, or when Tara repeatedly makes a fool out of Adi by implying something else and watching his reaction or scenes between Prakash Raj and Leela Samson who as the elderly couple ,with whom Adi and Tara live, just simply brillaint and reminds you of the man’s calibre and it is pure joy to watch the genius in his elements and it shows why some of his best movies are relationship based. It also helps that he has P C Sreeram to back him up with some excellent cinematography in all the scenes to make the effect even better and makes Mumbai  look really beautiful.

Coming to performances, the fresh pairing of Dulquer and Nithya is a big plus point for the movie and even though all the attention has gone to Dulquer Salman due to his popularity with the ladies, I am sorry to disappoint all the ladies but it is Nithya Menen who will walk away with the accolades. As Tara, she is vibrant, bubbly, natural and just simply brilliant . Dulquer though not on the same plane as Nithya still does a commendable job and the chemistry between the lead pair is amazing through out the movie as we see the whole gamut of relationship emotions starting from being carefree to being worried about each other to bickering adults who can’t see the truth staring at them.

In terms of Music by ARR, there is not much to say as it has been ruling the charts for many weeks now. While Kaara Aattakara, the foot tapping number, is the one which started the whole release, there are other songs which are equally impressive like Hey Sinamika and Parandhu Sellave which fills the romantic angle, Malargal Kaettaen and Naane Varugiraen with their classical feel are mesmerizing, Rehman gets his sufi fill through Maula Wa Sallim and finally Theera Ulaa captures the pain of separation. The Backgroun score is equally impressive and forms an intrinsic part of the movie.

Final Words – The Maniratnam magic lives and I assure you, you will come out feeling really good at the end of the movie. Some excellent scenes with the Maniratnam touch, excellent chemistry between the lead pair and superb music by ARR coupled with excellent cinematography makes an excellent case for this movie.

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