OK Kanmani’ is in every way a love letter to the audience. It’s a love story sans superficiality or exaggeration. Mani Ratnam is a filmmaker who believes in picking the right actors for his films. By zeroing in on Dulquer Salmaan and Nithya Menen, the master class director wins the battle.
‘OK Kanmani’ joins the two leaves of modernness in Indian society and the necessity to stay away from aberration. Aadi (Dulquer) and Tara (Nithya) fall in love just like that… maybe lesser than the time it takes to practice the art of snapping your fingers. But the real story is in their understanding of each other. Of the space they give each other. Of what they expect and extract from each other.
They live together (which will be frowned upon if you suggest the idea to your parents) for a short period only to realize that there’s more to their relationship than the immediacy of their planned romantic stay. While Nithya brings in her fears, doubts, and cuteness to her role, Dulquer on the other hand, brings in everyman’s attitude to his Aadi.
The portions where the young couple learns the meaning of togetherness from the older couple (Prakash Raj and Leela Samson) through an opening in the doorway is definitely the itch that holds two people close. Leela Samson is excellent in the shoes of a person with Alzheimer’s and Prakash Raj as usual is neat on the screen.
What’s fascinating about the film is how A. R. Rahman and Mani Ratnam have worked together along with P. C. Sreeram to present this wonder named ‘OK Kanmani’. When I first heard the track “Maula Wa Sallim” I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. Now I sit agape with admiration. It seamlessly blends into the narrative. Also, P. C. does a fine job. He takes the film a step higher by giving it a flawless touch. A. R. Rahman’s faithfulness to his mentor is great. There is not an emotion left unwarranted.
We can squabble over the climax but that’s also the point Ratnam makes. This is where the boundary is drawn in India for most of us now. Maybe the climax, for future films and us, will stand as a mirror to the cultural shift some decades down the line. But I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that ‘OK Kanmani’ is given a UA certificate. A terrific love story with a senseless certificate attached to it. Mani Ratnam’s timely reflection of our society is the one you shouldn’t miss.