At an emotionally charged up point in the movie, the protagonist meets his dear lover after a gap of about a year. The mood is almost set up, and the lead pair are supposed to emote to a bewitching background score. But exactly at this moment, a eleven-twelvish kid siting besides me in the theater (who perhaps must have seen a couple of romantic movies) shouts out aloud. ”Ippa ava azhuva paaren*!” I smile as I nod in approval. The kid goes on like “Ippa avan enna unmaiya love panriyaanu kepaan paaren!”. I am almost in splits nodding animatedly in a supposedly heart-wrenching scene. And when he predicts “Ippa ava friend ivana vandhu adipaan paaren!, I pray to God not to let that happen, but the friend dude as if he had heard the kid nice and clear, comes up to get a beating from our protagonist. I can’t help but laugh out aloud. What should have probably been the strongest sequence of the movie falls flat and becomes mundane, because of some serious lack of innovation and freshness in writing. Well, you get the picture right? Predictability plagues Amarakaviyam worse than how plague plagued Surat. To be frank, this is perhaps the lesser of my worries in Jeeva Shankar’s Amarakaviyam.
A teenage guy and a teenage girl bunk school and stroll to the woods. They are found there by the police in a compromised situation. What would normal responsible parents do? Well, to state the obvious, they will try to drive some sense into the ‘hormones pumped’ kids and tell them to mend their ways. Well, that’s exactly what happens. By the time this happens, we are nearly half way through the film. Where the hell is the conflict man, we plead! As act two begs to show itself on-screen, ugly family tussles sprout out of nowhere because of a jealous loser ‘friend’ and the protagonist’s self-inflicted acts of foolishness. We yawn at the writer’s attempts at striking a chord with us, when what he has as the lead pair are essentially two kids who have no reason to be together other than ‘random’ attraction. And at the interval, when we are revealed of an imminent bereavement, we pray that at least something sane happens after the break to justify the tragedy.
The second half goes on and on about the travails the two teens find themselves in. Why do they keep meeting each other again and again in the first place, our sensibilities howl. Instead of sympathizing for the couple, we are irritated at their parents and their jealous friend for not doing the simple task of keeping them ‘separate’ right. Some random silly acts of love and betrayal are blown up to ludicrously high melodramatic sequences giving the impression as if we are watching an epic love affair bloom and getting destroyed for no reason. No Jeeva, no! Those two teenage kids are just bored, and what they need are close friends, some quality college fun and a goal to pursue in life. I feel no pity for them. Instead I feel guilty of our irresponsibility in portraying immature love as something sacred, and people who fail to understand or empathize with them as emotionally numb. Don’t even get me started on the atrociously stupid climax!
Ghibran’s background score and Jeeva Shankar’s scenic camera work try to make amends for everything that went wrong. But how far can a music director salvage a flawed film. Casting wise, Mia George is a natural, but Sathya needs to work more on his emotions in the close shots. Despite a handful of poignant scenes and decent performances, the uninspiring monotonous pace in which the script unfolds, the obvious excess of uncamouflaged melodrama, and the lack of innovation in building up the (non-existent) conflict make Amarakaviyam a tedious watch.
Definitely not immortal. Far from being a masterpiece. A flawed irresponsible attempt at portraying underage romance, is what Amarakaviyam essentially is.