Taramani movie cast: Andrea Jeremiah, Vasanth Ravi, Anjali
Taramani movie director: Ram
Taramani movie rating: 3.5
There is a Tamil phrase that Director Ram uses in the movie — “Mozhangalukum mottai mandaikum mudichu podrathu”. It indicates an unlikely relationship between two things at the opposite ends of the spectrum. The love story in Taramani’s is a bit like that. On one hand we have the stylish, sophisticated, modern Althiya Joseph (Andrea Jeramiah) and on the other there is the conventional Prabhunath (Vasanth Ravi) who is new to city and its urbane culture. Taramani follows Altheya and Prabhu capturing the multi-edged intricacies in contemporary romance through their stories.
Taramani is complex, heavy and a tad along. But at the same time it is also empowering. The movie demolishes every kind of stereotype out there – at times with subtlety and at times through a loudspeaker. The beauty of Taramani’s script does not lie in the pronounced moments but in the small things; like when Althea finds her husband with someone; little do we expect him to be homosexual. Similarly, when her five-year-old son is seen with a white stick like thing in his mouth, we are almost certain that it is a cigarette (Althea drinks and smokes, what else would it be?) — only to find out that it is a lollipop. Many such ‘expectations’ are pleasantly broken and that makes Taramani enormously effective.
We also have the loud reminders that this is a man’s world. After a break up, a colleague invites Altheya to a party. When she refuses, the colleague asks “are men the only people allowed to drink after a break up?” Altheya smiles for an instant, realising that she was momentarily lost in a stereotype herself. Though overdone at places, these clichéd lines work due to its relatability.
For a film that has been in the making for three years, Taramani feels fresh – thanks to Director Ram’s voiceovers and dialogues. Witty and powerful, it is his narrative that keeps you engrossed through the movie’s length. There is a sequence where Prabhu returns some cash to a lady in thousand rupee notes. As Prabhu leaves, a voice over says demonetisation was announced that night and we do not know if the woman managed to get the notes exchanged, ending it cheekily with a ‘Jai Hind’. His satirical political/social comments provide much needed relief to the intensity on screen and also save the movie from feeling dated.
Vasanth Ravi gives an impressive debut as Prabhu but Andrea steals the show with a remarkably understated performance. As an independent single mother, her portrayal is rooted in reality. It is also a small delight to hear the English dialogues sound natural and not contrived, as it is generally in Kollywood.
The movie, however, does lose its focus a bit in the middle and takes its own time to get back on track. The staging and the cinematography is unimpressive while the music works in patches. A few story arcs are fantastical. It would have more emphatic had it been streamlined a bit, it tries to say too much. Also, for a story that doesn’t really ‘judge’ anyone, the male lead gets a character certificate too many times.
But despite its flaws, Taramani’s voice is genuine; and for that, the movie deserves to be watched.