Sindhuja (from Pyaar Prema Kaadhal) and Kokila (from Kolamavu Kokila) are two women who have impressed me much last week. While Sindhuja is closer to my sensibilities, Kokila is not far behind. These two women have proven their might at the box office, and have shown that they have what it takes to alter the status quo. While one film shows that a heroine is a hero too, another shows that a love story depends largely on one person being stronger. How wonderful it is to see that person being a woman in Pyaar Prema Kaadhal. Both Pyaar Prema Kaadhal and Kolamavu Kokila are running to full houses even as you are reading this.
Let’s take Kokila first. She uses her naïveté and astute mind as her ammunition. Add her equally sharp mother and sister to the mix and we have three women who literally waltz away with the whole film. Sharanya and Jaqueline who play Nayanthara’s mother and sister in Nelson’s well-written dark comedy ensure they rise to the moment with equal gusto.
Thrown among a bunch of goons in situations which range from ordinary to bizarre, the women pull off heists and acts that usually get done by a hero. Full credit to Nelson for making his women the heroes of the narrative and to Nayanthara for selecting such a script as against a mere revenge saga or a ‘heroic’ tale for her ‘solo’ film. Nelson sprinkles his film with many a role reversal scene which garners much deserving applause in the theatre.
To have a mainstream heroine say a line which will live on to be an inspiration is something I wholeheartedly appreciate. The dialogue being, “Naa oru ponnunnuthaaney ippdi pesarey... Naan unna paathuppen ma.” The context is this: The mother is skeptical as to how the family will tide over a major financial and emotional upheaval because both her children are women, but the eldest daughter assures that she will take care of it all.
Whole-hearted appreciation also goes to newcomer writer-director Elan for his Sindhuja in Pyaar Prema Kaadhal. Played thoroughly well by Raiza Wilson, Sindhuja does everything reserved for a hero in a regular romantic tale. Her actions and choices are dictated by her needs, and she knows the difference between choosing her needs and doing her duty. She is the mature adult among the couple, and her actions are always in contrast to the typical boy-next-door Sree, whose small world begins with his mother and ends with being a ‘good boy’ who will take care of his love. Sree (a good performance by Harish Kalyan) and Sindhuja have many a battle of personalities, with the latter staying rooted to her choices. I loved her retort to Sree before the interval block.
I loved her clarity and her confusion, and her refusal to apologise for her actions. There is no justification given or taken for why she’s the way she is. Sindhuja is thankfully not vilified and Elan shows us a Tamil film heroine who can now do just as she pleases without having to fit in to a definition of how a girl must be, according to the tenets of the so-called “thamizh kalaachaaram”. And what a relief it is to see some unapologetic kisses on screen! PPK makes you root for the lead pair and that’s what a good love story is supposed to do. Have you seen these two women on the big screen yet?