It was the puja weekend and we watched two movies. One Malayalam movie “Varane Avashyam undu” was random as I was flipping through Amazon prime. The Times of India critic rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote that “it is a feel-good movie for all audience and probably all seasons because it is all heart.” Yes, it was a RICH film for all of us as it was a laugh riot. As a family we all watched it. Our younger daughter had some challenge to understand it in the beginning. Finally, she too joined.
Neena (Shobana) is a divorced woman trying to get hired as a French tutor and teaching classical dance, and she has a daughter Nikhitha aka Nikki (Kalyani Priyadarshan). One of their next-door neighbors is Major Unnikrishnan (Suresh Gopi), a retired Major who has a pet dog.
I like feel-good movies because the aftereffect of the movie lingers for some time. Yet when my wife and I were walking the next day morning I was surprised how we both pulled deep insights from scenes which we recollected. We had laughed at those scenes but the next day we understood the deeper messages from those scenes.
In the climax, one of the heroes who has just transformed after getting treated for anger management has to deliver a speech in front of people. Despite being a brave soldier and someone who had climbed Mount Everest, he was shivering. As we all know the fear of public speaking fear is the highest in the world. But he decides to serve the audience with his story. He had a chit with him and we all thought that it was his speech material. He decides to leave that piece of paper and gets into the flow. Being a retired major himself he recollects how he misses his mother. As Baradwaj Rangan wrote in a column about this movie, ” I dare you to watch Suresh Gopi’s big speech — in front of a big audience (he’s afraid of crowds) — with a dry eye. But it’s more than just about a man conquering his fear. It’s how he reaches into his past to inspire youngsters who are about to set off on a long and arduous journey. It’s about how that long and arduous journey becomes not just about going from Point A to Point B, but also about returning, periodically, to Point A: the starting point. Home.” I was eager to see what was written on that script by Shobhana’s character and it was these five words, “I am there with you”. I recounted leaving my hometown at the age of 21 and every time I visit I get a special feel which words fail to describe and those five words were always there with me from my mother as well.
In a column on this movie written by Baradwaj Rangan, he describes very nicely the relationship between a mother and daughter. He wrote, “In a flash, we get a sense of the genetic lottery that binds mother and daughter. And in another flash, we also get a sense of the cracks in their relationship. Nikki comes home to find Neena dancing as though no one’s watching and her reaction suggests this is not what she expected “a mother” to do. And the way Neena stops and quickly composes herself tells us she did not want Nikki to see her this way. One small moment and a whole history are presented to us. ” I see the bond between my wife and elder daughter. I used to wonder how come they shout at each other and then in an instance kiss and makeup. These are special bonds that become stronger through the repeated pulls and pushes.
The scene when Suresh Gopi was mentioning his mother made me remember about my mother and my favorite dishes she prepared for me. The relationship between mother and daughter threw light on my mother and sister’s relationship and also my wife and daughter.
One of the most important things I like about a RICH movie is that the film doesn’t have to fill in the blanks. We do it ourselves.