Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Deiva Thirumagal.

There are things in A.L. Vijay's Deiva Thirumagal that work splendidly: the casting is great and the performances are all pretty much superb. The mood and humour of the film is just right, and I was certainly moved by it in the end. It knows which strings to tug at, and when it does, you're smiling through tears.

Vikram's performance as the mentally challenged father, trying to gain back his young daughter, could have borderline offensive, but ends up rather subtle and believable. Anushka Shetty is great as the female lawyer who helps him, and the child actress playing the daughter is solid, too.

I saw a couple of reviews questioning the premise (can a mentally challenged person genuinely marry and be with another person in order to bring about a child?), which based on my (limited) knowledge of these matters is a very legitimate concern. But I suppose if you suspend your belief, as I did, the film is worth watching. Certainly if you're a fan of the main star, as I am, I wouldn't not recommend this, as it's one of his more memorable performances.

There's just one thing... And script-wise, it's a somewhat big problem. It's also a SPOILER, so look away now if you've not seen this film yet.

I found myself punched in the gut by the ending, and really by the whole story and everybody's inability to see the credible, completely acceptable alternatives to the either/or situation the film presents (which creates the drama). Why can't Krishna live with Bhanu's family in Madras? Or why can't Nila visit him every weekend? There are virtually limitless options that offer good compromises to this situation, rather than the horrible "either/or" the film forces us to accept.

I get that it's the saddest ending. But it doesn't have to be like that.


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