They say love can move mountains. You understand then when it gives purpose to an uncontrollable rebel, when it changes a habitual taker into a selfless giver, when it becomes both pain and the pain killer.
What if love did all of these at once? Debutant Bharath Mohan’s Igloo is a world, filled with love, that radiates warmth. Apart from being a beautiful love story, this two-hour film feels like you are reading a series of open love letters written by a single father, a divorced sister and a suppressed mother.
Despite having their baggage of unfulfilled wishes, sorrow and pain, almost all the people in this world live for their loved ones in their comfort zones or should I say, igloos. Their wishlists are restricted to three basic things, and in most of the cases, their desires are analogous.
While it’s his self-respect, his sister and his lady love for Shiva (Amzath Khan), his daughter Aishwarya points at her twin sister Vaishnavi, and says, “Enakku nee, appa, apram en pudhu cycle podhum.”
Handling modern-day relationships is tricky business. Most of the times, filmmakers either tend to overdo it, resulting in a completely unrelatable story, or making it very shallow, thereby giving no characters for the audience to root for.
But, Bharath Mohan’s portrayal of Shiva and Ramya (Anju Kurian) is both refreshing and interesting. While the entire country is debating about the toxic masculinity of a man with anger management issues in Kabir Singh/Arjun Reddy, Amzath’s Shiva, despite possessing a similar rage, prioritises his girl’s consent and safety, over everything else.
A heated argument with Ramya doesn’t prevent him from saying things like, “Mazhai vara madhri irukku di; paarthu po.” Unlike the rest of the angry heroes, he is quick to apologise and has an amazing self-realization. Instead of conveniently escaping with ‘naan apdi dhaan’, he goes on to validate his stand instead.
Igloo is one of those rare films, where the display of affection by the lead pair feels completely justified. When the lead pair kiss each other, it never feels like the guy is in control over a fragile girl, like the run of the mill romcoms. The staging is so flawless that even when they are holding hands, you can’t help but wish they continued a bit longer.
Bharath Mohan wins half the battle with his script and the rest with his casting. It’s so heart-warming to see the child-actors — Anikha and Arohi — pull off emotions that are still a rough territory with adult actors in the industry.
I wish Tamil cinema learns from films like this that kids are naturally adorable when they play their age, without any forced drama.
Amzath and Anju actually carry the film on their shoulders. In a particular scene, Vigneshkanth, who plays a fisherman, points at Ramya (Anju) and says, “Indha madhri ponna ellam usura kuduthu kuda pathukalam.”
Usually, when a character mouths such a dialogue I would’ve rolled my eyes, but in Igloo, it feels apt, thanks to the exceptional performance of Anju. The restaurant scene, where she goes through extreme mood swings, is enough to prove her mettle as an actor.
While Anju’s character goes through a visible transformation, Shiva (Amzath)’s changes are more on the subtler side. Be it the scene, where he threatens to enroll his daughter in the circus for riding a bicycle without holding the handlebar, or the scene where he confronts Ramya saying he is not a college-going kid to fall at the feet of her father to woo her, Amzath shines throughout the film.
Igloo also pays tribute to Kamal Haasan’s Kanmani Anbodu from Guna, in a scene. Shiva holds back his tears, despite being overwhelmed by love, fearing that it might influence his girl.
Though Shiva is successful in his attempt, you aren’t, watching the scenes unfold. To sum it up, Igloo not only celebrates the warmth of love, but also ends up melting your heart.
Director: Bharath Mohan
Cast: Amzath Khan, Anju Kurian