Things you might have missed in Thanga Meengal!


The winner of 3 national awards and the only Tamil film to be screened at Indian Panorama in International Film Festival of India, IFFI, Goa, 2013, Thanga Meengal is a must watch. Now a year after its release one cannot stop to think about the movie and the intricacies that lay within it. The film, backed with stellar performances from the entire cast, tells the tale of a father-daughter relationship with many layers within it, and is a truly heart-warming story.

On first look it would be a difficult task to truly understand what the director has laid out in such a beautiful manner (the case with most films) but nevertheless director Ram has definitely given Tamil cinema a new form of sorts. 

During a recent screening of the movie Thanga Meengal at IIT- Open Air Theatre organized by as part of their Behindwoods – IIT Film Fest, Director Ram had these few insights to share. 

If you take a closer look at the characters in the movie, you would notice that each character has always been captured within a specific frame in mind. The frame in which they have been portrayed plays a major role impacting the movie at a subconscious level.  

Poo Ramu’s character as Kalyani’s dad is always almost seen sitting outside in the courtyard besides the pillars of the house. This is very simply to signify that he is the authority and centre of the house, the support system, the pillar of strength.

Rohini as Kalyani’s mother is mostly seen seated on the floor at a vantage point, with all the 4 directions visible to her, to see what is happening where and when. She is like the backup support system in case the pillars fall.

Shelly Kishore’s portrayal of Vadivu was top notch. When you look closely you would see that in many shots, she would be behind bars, (e.g.; a shot from outside the window when Kalyani comes back from Cochin) .This portrays that she lived like a prisoner, unable to do anything -  feeling helpless, a mental issue growing that comes with being in solidarity a lot, with random outbreaks of anger and extreme emotion, a personality disorder of sorts.

Kalyani’s character portrayal by Ram himself was a very convincing performance.  The character would always enter the house from the back and never from the front. The one time he enters through the front, it is only for him to leave the house. This shows us that Kalayani holds no position in the house and of its daily affairs. He is like a guest staying in his own house.

And finally Chellamma, the one character who is bubbling with life and quirkiness, is the only one who traverses all terrain, literally. Chellamma is the only one who can pass through the Vadivu’s bars, Poo Ramus pillar, Rohini’s vantage point and Kalyani’s entry points. She roams around the house carefree, in a world of her own.

Hats off to director Ram for pulling off such a wonderful movie that leaves us thinking and wanting for more. 



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