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Aval Appadithaan

This is one of my favorite songs. In fact, this is one of my favorite movies. Its a movie that’s way ahead of its times. Sripriya’s performance as Manju is one of her best till date. She’s again one of those actress whose talent kinda went undiscovered behind cleavage showing dresses and running around trees duet. I’m glad she’s taken to direction now!

With one of the most interesting Rajni-Kamal combinations, Kamal’s the idealist, a feminist who believes in women’s liberation is friends with Rajni, who’s not a bad guy but just an average man who looks at women as objects of pleasure. Some of the conversations they have about women in general are very straight forward and each of them is passionate about their belief system. There’s this one frame where Kamal stands on the terrace smoking a beedi in the middle of the night thinking about Sripriya. Its a shot of contemplation that’s unpretentious and just plain. I think its that plainness that adds beauty to the story.

Sripriya’s character has to be the most interesting portrayal of a woman in Tamil cinema till date. She’s not predictable, or cute, or bubbly. She’s a woman with her own baggage, a scarred past and an attitude that throws everyone off balance including the man who’s drawn to her. She’s almost little imbalanced. But even there, there’s a struggle that goes on within her to save her dignity and her self respect. After watching Sripriya in this movie, I wanted to play it to the Trisha, Asin type heroines whose only acting skill involves chasing a hero and squealing when the villan comes after them. I’m not saying Sripriya didn’t get typecast, she did. In quite a few movies like Billa, Vazhve mayam where all she was required to do was wear skimpy clothes. But at least counter the effect of those with at least one movie like this in your career. I know I’m digressing, but I’m still baffled that Simbu and Trisha of all people won a Kalaimamani award. You’ve got to be kidding me if acting like movies like Alai, Aaru, Vallavan, Thirupachi, et al qualify as service to cinema.

Moving along, this song especially, coming from the bandwagon that believes in promoting the hypocritical chastity of women, consoles the women who’s just got out of a bad relationship. This man tells her that its a phase and that she’ll find love again. I was quite surprised ‘cos I can’t recall even more recent movies talking about breakups in matter-of-fact manner. There’s very little information available about this movie and I’m not sure who the lyricist is but I’m inclined to believe it is Kannadasan. What lines! The depth behind the words baffled me. I’m not a very big fan of poetry in general, but this guy is God! Another stalwart here is Ilayaraja. There’s no other musician who understands the intricacies of a song better. This song’s strength is its lines. The music just flows around the words so beautifully, almost adorning them. Even this tune is so matter-of-factly.

The most refreshing thing about this movie is its non-judgmental narrative. Everything, from its title that reads “that’s just her” (loosely translated), to the portrayal of Manju, who’s character and openness scares everyone around her, to Rajni, who talks about generalises all women with a grin and a drink in his hand. Now, this is bold cinema cos it justifies nothing!

If you want to catch a few more clips of this movie, you can find them here here, here here here and here.


20 thoughts on “Aval Appadithaan

  1. Its an amzing movie… Rajini at his best! Though I am a fan of Kamal Hasan… this movie belongs to Rajini… Kamal had to underplay cos of the nature of his role. Awesome!

    Unfortunately..Kamal and Rajini had to take their own paths and K.B also lost the plot during his latr days

  2. interestin post, esp for ppl like me.

    I never heard of tam movies till i was around 10yrs old and the first two films i remm watchin were ‘Annamalai’ and ‘Anjali’.

    SunTV introduced me to weekend cinema, and those ‘indian tholaikatchi le mudhal…..’

  3. Solitaire > I’m not sure if this movie’s been released on DVD. Cos I myself found a VCD of this movie after a very long search. But the clips I included at the end of this post all have subtitles.. Try watching it sometime!

    Prashanth > True, I want one movie with Kamal as the hero and Rajni as the villan.. That’s never gonna happen and I just have to make my peace with it..

    In this movie, I love the scene where Rajni and Kamal argue and Kamal says “you’re an

  4. Mayur > lol.. yeah, that announcement in the weird voice.. it still happens..

    Narsim > thank you!

    Sutta > check out the videos with subtitles!

    Manasi > thank you 🙂

    Arun > yes, that’s what I’m saying. I’m saying they can’t act to even save their lives.. nee ennangra??

  5. Yeap…gone are those days of movies which questioned the society’s attitude boldly…nowadays one has to be happy with a 35 kilo hero bashing 100 90 kilo bad guys and reluctantly romancing frozen faced girlies!

  6. Dear Gayatri: I also saw the film.One of the satellite T.Vs 6telecast it an year back.The travails of Manju caught between two polar males but not changing a bit was well enacted by Sriptiya who always emotes well.Your comment that it is a non judgemental narrative is apt.
    best wishesBye the bye your profile,your sign,your philosophy of life,your prewference of this particula movie with the title and song all have emboldened me to come to a certain intersesting estimation of yours.’
    Bye the way Is ‘cancer’ your Indian Astrological Sign or western based on date of birth and month
    Best wishes
    Partha krish

  7. He he he, hey simbu and trisha are kalaimamani’s!!! Did not know that. Infact I am writing a post on Simbu… Dude is a psycho and am sure, is gonna end up in prison one day. Cheers!!! Lovely post. I thought Sripriya was a glam Doll. This one’s an eye opener…

  8. Hi gayatri,
    very good writeup on the movie, song.. n everything..I have seen the movie.. it was a flop movie actually.. As its KB’s style to direct controversial movies, this is another one of tat kind.. sripriya did not have much scope to smile in the movie..her character s such.. but i liked it for KB, kamal n the songs..
    I could not agree to this statement of urs.. “Sripriya’s character has to be the most interesting portrayal of a woman in Tamil cinema till date.”
    There has been marvellous characters of suhasini in ‘manadhil urudhi vendum’,sujatha in ‘aval oru thodarkadhai’…

  9. Ramya > this is not one of KB’s movies. Its by a person called Rudraiah. I’m not sure if he directed any movie other than this one.

    I understand where you’re coming from. Manadhil Urudhi vendum, Aval oru thodarkadhai, et al had strong women protagonists. Let me give you an instance, I’d score Sindhu of Sindhu Bhairavi above Nandhini of Manadhil Urudhi vendum.

    Sindhu had a streak of humaneness and a sense of reality that Nandhini didn’t. Strong portrayals aren’t necessarily interesting all the time. I call Aval Appadithaan the most interesting ‘cos the woman here is not really strong. She just poses a strong exterior to save her sanity. She doesn’t want sympathy from the people around her.

    She was abused a child, had no real love from her parents either. She’s like an untamed beast. This is more real than any of the other KB characters one can name.

    I love the way this movie ends! What an apt ending to a great script.

  10. “Thats just her” might be loosely translated. But the exact indian english translation is
    “she is like that only” 🙂

  11. ohh.. i thought it was KB’s..thanks for tat correction.. more u tell abt manju more i seem to like her..i mean the way u tell, i like it.. but the thing i hated abt her is how long will a person learn by her mistakes…again n again she gets deceivd by sumone.. i love sindhu of all..

    visit my blogs..

  12. nice post. Ever since I chatted with my mom on this movie, I have been hoping to watch it. and now I am all the more motivated.

    Are you sure Simbu got an award for arts? I thought it had something to do with service to science and on being clear evidence of Darwin’s theory on evolution from apes.

  13. i believe AVAL APPADITHAAN was directed by Dr. Rudran, a noted psychiatrist and a specialist in mental health. pls correct me if i am wrong.

  14. Keerthi varman, Its director, Rudriah who is the director of the movie.. and not rudran.. rudran is only a psychiatrist as u said

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