Friday, 16 February, 2007

Alaipayuthey - analyzing the Bollywood-momentum

Bollywoodmovies are made for people who love a good cry. And - of course - for those who like to fall in love all over again. This happens to me sometimes as well- and it doesn´t correlate exclusively with adorable actors or actresses. Some movies are just well composed and some just have this wonderful moment - which i want to call the "bollywood-momentum" respectively the "bollywoodfactor".

It is a specific remarkable moment, in which something profound in the narration is shifting and suddenly you are able to see (and feel) the whole thing. You could also call it "catharsis" (which was a term from Aristoteles to describe the cleansing-effect of antique drama) or purification. In many indian movies this would be the point, where the flashback ends. In an emotional view its the point of no return. If the narration caught you somehow before (and you were sympathizing with the protagonists), then this is the moment where you may start to cry. Or youre noticing at least a little foreknowing feeling that you will start to cry veryvery soon - because many of the movies will start to celebrate the drama right after this moment. Actually its difficult to say something in general because the moment could be as well in the middle but also in the very end of the movie (f.e).
Ok, Whatever.

"Alaipayuthey" ("Jumping waves") is actually not a Bollywoodmovie, which roots from Bombay-industry, but its a southindian Tamil film (from the year 2000) directed by ingenius Mani Ratnam. But it has a nice and dramatic "Bollywood-momentum", which made this movie seeworthy for me. The film made its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2001 . Therefor it might be a movie which is a little more popular in germany then other movies from Mani Ratnam. But (like in comparable cases - according to indian movies) this dosn´t necessarily mean that is an exorbitant good movie. Which it isn´t, if you ask me...

Story: Engineering graduate Kharthik (R. Madhavan) is eyening Shakti (Shalini) everyday while their trains are passing each other. They are sweet.

But suddenly things are speeding up. They want to get married. Usual cinderella-like problems with the in-laws are following. Kharthik and Shakti are getting married in secret and for a while everything is fine. But slowly further problems occur during they are exploring their feelings. Take a look at the DVD-Cover to see what i mean. The movie has this existential dimension. And Mani Ratnam takes his time to develop it (156 min).

Spoiler: The film gets really exciting in its final parts. While facing death the protagonists are finally able to answer the question what the phrase "I love you" means for them. I would locate the Bollywood-momentum in the second when we realize why Kharthik is smiling in the very beginning and what this traffic-accident was all about.

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