Is ‘OK Kanmani’ a Masterpiece of ManiRathnam? – Review

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OK Kanmani has to be the most commercially safe Mani Ratnam Movie till date. But that does not alter the Brand Mani Ratnam is known to portray. This OK Kanmani movie marks his comeback after Raavanan and Kadal. But still, we have not seen the best potential with what he has to offer.

The movie OK Kanmani is a visual treat to the audience. Not one scene lacks a good shot. Each shot is either perfect or goes beyond perfection. The colours look properly balanced. And just one partial focus of a dog in the movie seemed out of place. But rest of the shots are just class.

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Praises can never be enough for the music department. The Background music is simply out of this world. One can never have fully enough of AR Rahman’s music in this film. It is simply that pleasant. And the songs work well with the movie. Each and every OK Kanmani song lingers in people mind. The music makes you want to watch every scene with a heavy open eye.

The actors are simply amazing. Both the lead characters have amazing chemistry with each other. The lead characters easily makes you want to fall in love with them.  The acting is simply superb. Especially the female lead Nithya Menon’s performance is note-worthy. Her performance in the song “Paranthu Sella vaa” is so adorable, so beautiful and so great that you are unable to get your eyes away from the screen. Prakash Raj has done a good job. And the overall cast has done their part really well.

And finally the captain of the ship, Mani Ratnam has done a wonderful job crafting scenes after scenes in such a manner that very little scenes drag the attention of the audience. The scenes are properly cut and it becomes easy to follow and differentiate one scene from the other. Mani Ratnam usually writes dialogues where audience feels it difficult to understand what the actors are trying to say. In OK Kanmani, he manages to simplify his narrative structure even though he used the Mani Ratnam class of dialogue in the film.

This movie has a commercially safe screenplay. It feels as if Mani Ratnam does not want another flop under his belt after Raavanan and Kadal. The script is good. But the characters feel uninteresting after some point.

One of the disadvantages in OK Kanmani is that both the characters have it easy in their lives. The male lead is a successful game developer. This Mani Ratnam latest movie portrayed his male lead in such a way that it suggests that one does not need to work hard to get to a higher place in life. Don’t get me wrong! Mani Ratnam showcased him working well. But we cannot feel the intimacy that the lead character works hard at his job. We can see the male lead animated and from that we need to assume that he is talented, he works hard, he is confident and he will successfully deliver the responsibility assigned to him. And similar is also in the case of female lead’s character. Her career does not have any ups and downs. She will go to high places all because she is animated about her job. The only purpose of the two lead character’s work life is to suggest that their future might be decided based on their work life. If that is all the purpose it wishes to serve, the film could have toned down their work life a little. I mean the scenes feel relevant if it serves a purpose. The Personal Life of these characters is not going to affect their work life apart from their long-term goal. So, what is the point in portraying more scenes with work life?

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Another minus would also come as a result of owing to how the lead characters have everything easy. Again, don’t get me wrong! The female character has a sob story to tell. That’s it! She has a sob story to tell and we have to assume that there is sadness in her life, that there are problems in her life. Her problem may be difficult to handle. But, what impression it gives is, “That’s cute darling! The world has bigger problems to deal with.”  At least, the supporting characters are shown with problems in their lives. They make the audience want to invest their interest in the movie. Mani Ratnam develops the story of his lead characters by making them learn, what is life, through the character development of his supporting characters. And that is an admirable thing to do. Except that the male lead character does not have any problems in his life. So, he has to borrow some amount of sadness from these supporting characters. That’s how it looked.

It took more than one hour and thirty minutes to delve into the actual problem that seems to outline this story. And without the last half an hour this movie wouldn’t have felt good. But it seems that Mani Ratnam is unable to shake Alaipauthey out of his films. In that last thirty-minute sequence, where the lead characters feel the need to accept their reality, he delves into the Alaipauthey style where he repeatedly makes the lead characters ask, “Why are we fighting?” This does not make OK Kanmani bad. It just makes the last thirty minutes feel like, “Seen it!” Well he did manage to make a more original couple in Ayutha Ezhuthu. But the last thirty minute as if Mani Ratnam ran out of ideas to make the sequence look unique.

Overall, I give OK Kanmani a 3.5/5.






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