3

Director: Aishwarya R. Dhanush

Featuring: Dhanush, Shruti Haasan, Siva Karthikeyan, Sunder Ramu (Prabhu, Bhanupriya and Rohini wasted!)

This is a film by the next generation Tamil filmmakers (artists, music directors inclusive). Shruti Haasan, Dhanush, Aishwarya R Dhanush are all people who’ve seen cinema more closely than any of us would have in our lives. Yet, 3 is what they can produce. Sub-standard, unimaginative, insensitive and ridiculous load of trash that they’ve dumped in to three hours.

In the name of love

Ram (played impeccably by Dhanush) helps this girl who can’t help herself with her own bicycle (which happens in the real world, of course) and then falls in love with her when he is all of 16/17 years of age. The girl Janani (irritatating portrayal by Shruti Haasan) returns the favour and they are both in love. The first half of the film meanders across tuition classes, roadside conversations, slaps from the girl’s father and useless trip to Tirupathi.

Nothing in the film makes the audience feel the love between the two lead characters or any hope that the film is heading somewhere this way. The girl burns her passport (which has the Visa that her mother obtained after 15 years on burning herself outside the US embassy! Lolwut?), runs away from home asking Ram to marry her, apparently does nothing that could be called a job but cooks well, of course. The boy fails in his maths and chemistry exams in school, runs after this girl he likes (and scores well in Physics – the subject he takes tuitions with her), drives to Tirupathi without a license and uses an Aircel phone (one too many plugs this Aircel has paid for).

There is absolutely no love that I could see or feel between the two – no conversations, no happy moments together, no display of sanity or self-sufficiency.

In the name of marriage

No surprise that this love goes into marriage. Ram marries Janani and moves into this apartment that his father buys for him. They wait for both their parents to visit them before they have their “first night”. He promises never to hurt her and take care of her. She in turn reaffirms her trust that he would do so. He goes away for long hours, has a friend sleeping over every single day but Janani waits for him to die before she finds out why it is this way. Ram kicks their pet and kills the dog (unimaginatively named Tom). Unable to tell her what he’s done, he cries and she consoles him still not wanting to find out what really happened.

The Director has gone out of her way to beat stereotypes in having Ram and Janani’s wedding at a pub/ discotheque. Ignoring the fact that, though the venue is new, the thaali and the man tying it around the woman’s neck hasn’t changed, it is impossible to ignore that Janani wears Vibudhi (symbol of widowhood) on her forehead for a large part of the film post-interval. Strange are the ways we beat the norms these days.

In the name of mystery

The film begins with someone having been murdered. And then there are these scenes where Janani runs after what looks like Ram’s silhouette. Like most other scenes, this one goes nowhere too. But I refuse to understand the irrelevant plugging of such things to make the movie catchy. Dream sequence or otherwise, if the film is about a man with bipolar disorder, why make him seem like a ghost?

In the name of a ‘disease’

This is the scariest part of it all. Ram, in the film is dealing with bipolar disorder – which is pretty much mentioned as a disease. He acts like Chandramukhi Ganga (while the Doctor character clearly mentions that this is not split personality but bipolar disorder). He beats up friends, walks up to kill his wife, hallucinates and even forgets everything that he has done while he is in one of his fits. He refuses to ‘admit’ himself in a hospital and is worried about his wife “seeing him” with “fear” rather than “love”.

What’s more bothering here is how everything in this entire sequence is so unimaginative. All of the reasons for which he meets his extremes are so stereotypical. He breaks his friends head for merely telling him that he has a problem. He beats up people in a car park like a mad man left loose. He kills a poor dog. Even if I’d buy this for all of them are occurrences in the life of a man, his hallucinations are out of nowhere. There is no reason for why he is seeing what he is  seeing (a smoking kuduguduppandi-like person and a girl). To show us that these are hallucinations, these characters stand in the air and are coloured green. Duh! What’s even worse is that there is no apparent meaning to any of his hallucinations. If he is indeed hallucinating, why can’t writers think beyond two random characters. I am now thinking of Beautiful Mind and sighing. (Not to argue that Beautiful Mind is the best film in the world. Just the imagination of someone to fit one’s hallucinations into a film)

In the name of perspective

The entire film is shot from what I believe is a third person perspective. We are seeing the world not as Ram is seeing but as us watching from elsewhere. So, when Ram walks into the sea trying to reach Janani, I am not able to see it as someone suffering from lack of control over his emotions. I see it with fear that he is going to kill himself. All scenes where Ram hallucinates, loses his mind (and temper), hurts himself, I can never empathise with him because I am always wondering when he is going to hurt people around him.

If the intention of the film is to make the audience feel scared of someone with bipolar disorder, the aim is met. But if you want me to see it as a disorder that is bothering someone I know, you’ve lost your way by miles!

In the name of a film

This is just another flimsy attempt at showcasing a mental disorder that no one in the film making team has any idea about (or worse no experience with). Logical loopholes, perspective issues, meaningless conversations and irritating performances can all be dealt with if only Aishwarya R Dhanush had a vision about 3! Sadly, it falls apart!