Monday, June 3, 2013

Midhunam - Movie Review

This one is a classic. It's the ideal post-retirement dream that most senior people dream of, full of love and caring, good humour and health, hopes and yes, even fears too. One for the family to watch together, and think of the trials and tribulations of the seniors at home, and for the seniors to feel a lot more useful than useless. I loved it and the way the typical rural Andhra household is portrayed with its pujas and pickles, letters and relatives and the daily ups and downs. Tanikella Bharani is a thoughtful filmmaker and a really good one and I only wish he'd make more movies. And as typical of Bharani, the tongue in cheek humour sustains throughout the movie and lifts it above what could have been a sentimental melodrama. Instead it becomes a highly empowering treatment, of facing life and death with a smile, with equanimity. Great grace.

The film has only two characters. The human ones I mean. Then there is the house, the cow, the calf, and every part of the house that becomes important - the well, the fruit trees, the vegetable garden, the letter box, the kitchen, the attic, the puja room. Here the two senior citizens, played brilliantly by S.P. Balasubramanyam (as Appadasu) and Lakshmi (as Buchi), live their post-retirement life in an idealistic setting. SPB appears to be a retired government teacher, a recipient of a President award, whose children are all settled, most in the US, and all we hear is their voice over the phone. The old man's cravings for food, his penchant to do all his work himself, the little romances between the old couple, their fights are stuff that could happen in every household. It's a house where you would like to be a fly on the wall and watch the two delightful characters go about their lives in the traditional Andhra style - from foods, to pickles, pujas to traditions.

Interestingly 'Midhunam' is based on a Telugu novel of the same name by Sri Ramana and has also been made into a Malayalam movie. Heartening to see so many novels being adapted into movies these days.

I really wanted to see 'Midhunam' in the theatres simply because I'd like to support this kind of a film. In fact I did make many efforts too but somehow it never happened. I was glad to buy the CD in the shop yesterday and its an investment well made. Great job Tanikella Bharani and team. I definitely know that Soumya is part of the movie and I did detect Mohana Krishna's voice over the phone to SPB. Surely worth a watch - specially if you're over forty. It's never too late to realise that life is what you make of it, not something that happens to you as you judge, fear and resent it.

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