The epidemic of Kovid 19 has taught one thing to all the victims this time that if a voice comes out of the heart for help, then it reaches a heart. The second time when there was an outbreak of Corona, there was loss of countless lives, but the people who were stricken by the shock of the first time were a little prepared this time. Due to non-availability of shooting in South India, many people lost their jobs. Renowned producer-director Mani Ratnam and his friend Jayendra Panchapakesan of Cube Cinema took cognizance of this. He had decided that he would make a film to raise money and thus the idea of an anthology named “Navras” came up. Mani Ratnam’s company Madras Films has entered the world of OTT through this anthology. Some of the 9 stories are well made and some are simple. The digital debut of Mani Ratnam’s company could not fully serve the taste.
There are 9 rasas of acting. If a film is made on every rasa, then the theme of an anthology can be made and the viewers will also get a tight grip, although defining this anthology is a difficult task. There is no such thread in any story, which is connected. Everything is a film in itself. If there is something common, then no one can see it. Some stories may have remained in the mind of the writer and director, the audience has not understood. This is the problem of super-scholastic directors. He himself gets excited about the story and does not think that the film is for the audience to see, not just for the director’s self-indulgence. The biggest drawback of Navras is that the directors made films with the aim of impressing Mani Ratnam and completely forgot the audience. How did Mani, who did his MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, forget that movies are made to entertain the audience.
The director of the first story is Bejoy Nambiar. His first film Shaitan and later Farhan Akhtar, Amitabh Bachchan starrer Wazir earned him a lot of fame. His film based on “Karuna” Ras is “Dushman” starring the talented Vijay Sethupathi and veteran Revathi in lead roles. Revathi is in the role of a wife who did not even talk to her husband Prakash Raj for many years. Prakash Raj is a bank manager who keeps on refusing to pass the loan of Vijay Sethupathi’s brother and because of this he commits suicide. An enraged Vijay Sethupathi, to avenge his brother’s murder, goes to Prakash Raj’s house and kills him. The point was even right, but the climax was so silly that it did not seem that the original idea of the story was that of Mani Ratnam. Vijay reaches the temple looking for Revathi to apologize for his mistake and Revathi bears the blame for the whole incident. Story over. Where did the compassion in this come from? How was compassion shown? Which acting was such that seeing compassion would have arisen? It is a story of straight revenge. If there had not been Prakash Raj in the role of Vijay, Revathi and husband, then there would have been no compassion for the filmmaker.
The second story is Priyadarshan’s film “Summer of 92” based on Comedy Ras, in which famous comedian Yogi Babu is in the lead role. On the completion of 100 years of school, Yogi Babu comes as an alumnus who has now become a well-known comedian of films. According to the custom, he gives speeches and remembers the old days. What’s the comedy in this? The then principal of the school Nedumadi Venu is looking for a relationship for his daughter Ramya. His daughter is bringing home the dog of a Christian priest, so Yogi Babu is asked to keep the dog away from the house so that the relationship can be talked about. The dog escapes from Yogi Babu’s grip, falls into the gutter and after coming home, sweeps himself in front of all the guests and throws all the dirt on them and the marriage is over. The core of this story is humour. The manner in which humor has been put in it is worth considering. The artist, who plays the teenage character of Yogi Babu with a heavy body, is called pig, fat and by what name. Where is the humor in this? This is Priyadarshan’s next performance after Hungama 2, and looks like there is no magic left in them.
The basis of the third story Project Agni is Amazing Ras and its director is Karthik Naren who is considered to be the emerging director of Tamil cinema and he is soon directing a film about Dhanush. This film is well made. It is a story of science and Arvind Swami has single-handedly drawn this story on his own. The conversation begins with the Mayan and Sumeran civilizations. Time space is a machine made to go into the past and depict the ill-effects of man’s habit of playing with time. In the film, the Puranas are mentioned, then the name of the character of Arvind Swami is Vishnu, the name of his wife is Lakshmi and Krishna comes to meet him. The villain of the story has been named Kalki, who according to the Puranas can bring destruction. Being scientific, the mood of the story is beyond the understanding of the general public, but the film is made in a very easy way.
The fourth story is director Vasant’s “Payasam” based on the vibhatsa rasa in which Aditi Balan, Rohini and Delhi Ganesh are the main actors. The manner in which the society has been traumatized by prejudices and narrow-mindedness has instilled in the minds of the people a gruesome feeling – hatred. A Tauji (Delhi Ganesh) with ill-conceived ideologies threatens to take his widowed daughter to his nephew’s house for her daughter’s wedding. Tauji’s heart is jealous, jealous and dirty about this marriage. Tauji is respected, he is dressed in a new coat but he still remains irritated. In one scene, they walk towards the house and sometimes they collide with a car, sometimes a stool or similar things on the way. The director seems to have used his poor eyesight to symbolize. Aditi Balan has played the character of a widow and she acts very beautifully. Facing the eyes of other people of the society, when she reaches the wedding, the look with which the other guests present look at her and the expression on Aditi’s face is her maturity. The music of Tamil wedding rituals and the original musical instruments played for the wedding fascinates. The film does not understand its message properly.
If you want to see a touching story, then the story of the fifth rasa i.e. calm rasa can be seen. In this story of just 28 minutes long, Tamil films super hit director Karthik Subbaraj has been able to leave a little impact. Karthik has previously directed films like Pizza, Jigarthanda and Jagme Thandiram. Another super hit director Gautam Vasudev Menon is working as an actor in the film. In this short story of LTTE rebels, chances of encounter start forming in the village. In a small group of rebels, the brother of a man (Bobby Simha) was killed in a battle. He meets a little boy who tells him to save his brother. When the soldier reaches there after playing on his life, he comes to know that the brother of that child is a small dog. He saves the dog and shots are fired. He too gets shot, his comrades fire cover. After a while the bullets stop and he brings that dog safely. After the first aid, he stands on a mound and thanks the enemy soldiers for not firing the right bullets because of the dog. Then he is shot and he dies. It is difficult to understand what director and writer Vivek Harshan wanted to say in this story of peace, but still the film has turned out well.
Actor Arvind Swami has also ventured into the world of direction with this anthology and presented the story “Roudram” by Raudra Rasa. This story is most effective and leaves a deep impression on the viewers. Poverty-stricken Arul (Sriram) lives with his mother and younger sister. Dreams are big but those dreams cannot be fulfilled with the earnings of a small caste and a mother who cleans from house to house. Dissatisfaction starts growing in Arul’s mind. One day a mother takes her children to eat good food and go shopping. Arul goes to play football with new shoes and after winning the cash reward of the best player, he goes to give this money to his mother, then he sees that his mother is in bed with the owner of the house. He then understands that his mother has started doing prostitution. Due to the hatred in Arul’s mind, violence takes place in him and he becomes almost a professional criminal. Time turns and the mother is now on her deathbed, Arul calls up his sister who is now a senior police officer and deals with criminals very strictly. Rudra forms of both are seen in the film. Acting All the actors have done well. The sad thing is that no sympathy is awakened towards any artist.
Another story in the stories of confusion is R Rathindran Prasad’s film Inmayi which is a story of fear. It stars Siddharth and Parvati in the lead roles. An attempt has been made to narrate the story of the jinn by making the story of the Muslim environment. Strange story. Basically a story of revenge. But what was there to be afraid of, he did not understand. There was nothing in any of the scenes that could frighten the beholder to the extent of closing his eyes. Even Siddharth and Parvati could not save the poor story and the same thing happened. The eighth rasa is Veer Rasa and its story is written by Mani Ratnam himself and directed by Sarjun KM. The story of Mani Ratnam disappointed. An army officer (Atharva) shoots and arrests a Naxalite (Kishore). While being taken to the Army Headquarters, the health of that Naxalite starts deteriorating due to the bleeding. Contrary to orders, the officer brings him to the hospital from where the Naxalite escapes. The story ends. The film would have become unwieldy if there were no scenes of Army office wife Muthulakshmi (Anjali) in this film. Movies are very boring.
Aakhri Ras is Shringaar Ras whose film is directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and its name is Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru. According to the literature read, makeup has been taken from the person’s makeup. There is love in this film, nothing like makeup was seen. Suriya has got the role of a great singer and he sings songs while playing guitar and soon wins Grammy Award too. Their love story is shown in the flashback, due to which their music has got a feeling. What was the makeup in it? Search again. The songs of the film are good and that is only good. Suriya or Pragya Martin are not weak in acting but the director should have worked very hard in choosing the right story. Direction is also fine. There is no juice in most of the films of ‘Navras’ total. It is being told and explained that Navaras has full nine rasas, whereas there is nothing like it. Yes, “boredom” is full of juice. Because of that Mani Ratnam’s name will be bad. This is a very bad anthology. You can avoid watching it.
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