Nagala Kishore. on 22nd Mar 2017, 9:59pm
I'm an Andhra who has settled in the U.S. quite a few decades ago. Rarely, indeed very rarely, do I come across a movie as heartwarming, genuine and credible as this one. It is my good fortune to have found it on youtube, quite by chance. It has none of the silliness, absurdity or violence that seems to pervade Indian cinema these days. The story, dialogue, direction, cinematography, actors in their simple rural setting, how naturally they have played their roles with simplicity and no artifice or glitz, not even makeup (as is stated in the review)--all these are very natural and together, have made a huge impression on my mind. With all my heart, I applaud the film and all the people who have made it not only beautiful but above and beyond that. It is OUTSTANDING.
In more than one scene, it brings tears to me (admittedly I have the fault, sensitivity or weakness) of being a romantic.
The facial expressions of the heroine Shobahana in certain sequences between her and the hero Muthu, are moving, beautifully and delicately shown. The pain of love that cannot be expressed because of self-imposed scruples and as well, imposed by the harsh rules of society (rural Tamilnadu), is clearly depicted. The expressions, gestures and body language tell the agony and on occasion, the elation, of tender feelings. If there is better tribute that can be paid to a film, I'm at a loss to find the words
There is the scene in which the rowdy boys harass Shobhana and upon learning of this from Kavita (Kayalvizhi in the Tamil version), Muthu, in Shobhana's defence, goes and tackles the rowdies. In the fight, he sustains a painfully twisted ankle. Shobhana realises that Muthu, as a medal winning sprinter, is relying on his athletic talent to attain his goal--a decent job by way of the sports quota, his only chance of coming out of poverty. Naturally, Shobhana is quite upset that such an injury may well deprive Muthu's chance of coming up. Thus, she has a heated row with Kayal; her expressions, gestures and body language, clearly reveal her agony. The message is simple: It is well and good for them to have the scruple to be proper and not go beyond the bounds of friendship but when true love indeed blossoms out of such friendship, it is no less honourable. the rules of friendship do NOT prohibit love when it occurs in the proper way. Indeed, love is the highest form of respect a man and a woman can pay each other.
In the last 20 minutes or so of the film, in the bus, as the students are returning from their college-conducted excursion, the dialogue between Shobhana and Kayal in which they pour out their hearts to each other, I found poignant and tender.
It is in those moments, that the film conveys to me powerfully, the feelings, bound as the students are, by the rules of society and the cultural evil (being women in that society subjects them to abuse) and because of the socioeconomic gulf between an utterly poor hero and a well-off heroine.
I'm hard pressed to say who the protagonist is--the girl or the boy.
A Satyajit Ray sort of film in Tamil in colour, made in our time.
No, it is not a college-bunking, table-top-dancing, eve-teasing-adam-horsing romance of yester-years, nor the more contemporary canteen-politicking, classroom-chit-passing escapade of good-looking people who easily come to terms with their feelings. Kalasala focuses on a section of the student crowd that no film has yet really - those who have studied in government schools all their lives, who get tomato rice and biryani in real, round steel lunch boxes, and who cannot speak a word of English.
Shobhana (Tamanna), the daughter of a highly-accomplished and educated family, stands out ....