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LOVE is an imperative buzz word in the context of Indian cinema and more so in Tamil cinema. There has been so much of focus on this abstract, ‘hard to describe’ feeling in our films, and there are numerous film makers who have conveyed their idea of love and there are still many on the anvil who are ready to unleash different axioms and postulates to this sentiment on to the big magical celluloid screen.

Over a period of time, the understanding of this ‘all important’ word has taken on a different dimension in our films basically reflecting the sensibilities of the time period in which a film was made or set. Marriage was and is still considered as the ‘Success in LOVE’ in films and if lovers did not unite in matrimony, the men sported unkempt looks, took to the bottle, mouthed profound dialogues about the sanctity of love or simply unleashed the poet in him or in extreme cases kicked the bucket with full force. On the other hand, women were shown to have perpetual damp eyes. Life in such a case in films of those days was almost shown to have come to an end projecting the LOVE as immortal!

Then came a period when the ‘unlucky’ i.e. the ones who did not walk the aisle together but decided on other partners to continue with their life, was shown as wishing their respective ex(s) well with an indelible sorrow in their hearts that they were shown to be carrying to their grave. That was ‘Eternal Love’!

As said earlier, these are different perspective of love depicting the specific time period.

Coming to the current Blackberry age LOVE has assumed a very lighter and pragmatic form. This was evident in the recently released Kaadhalil Sodappuvadhu Eppadi and Marina. These films present an all new take on Love that is practical and ‘matter of fact’. There is no mushy or over sentimental color to love now. If it works out, fine, otherwise, let’s brood for a while (this may be from a day to a week) and carry on with life. There are always friends and liquor to help one tide over the ‘break-up’ period. And as they, ‘inda figure/aalu illana enna machi, evvalavo figure/aalu irukku naattula’. True essence of life!

Siva Karthikeyan and Oviya’s romance in Marina falls under this category. Siva Karthikeyan after wooing Oviya with enjoyable antics and having had a fairly good time, splits with her and avenges his expenses incurred in this sojourn in a comical manner. Oviya too decides on a different partner and moves on. There is nobody out to take revenge on the other with some schmaltzy love letters which were an integral part of movies of yore. “You carry on with your life and I with mine”, is the motto.

Kaadhalil Sodappuvadhu Eppadi portrays the life of urban youth and family sentiments well. Siddharth and Amala Paul reflected the college going youth of today who unlike in other films of a different time, did not seem to be attacked by Aphrodite 24X7 but had their other avocations like Frisbee match for Siddharth and shopping for Amala. It is a very casual representation.

They have their studies and aspirations to take care and they also don’t view their parents as ‘the primary villain of love’ as in movies of earlier times but share a fine bonhomie with them. Quite refreshing indeed! It is neither over the top pampering nor outright dominance. Siddharth’s parents take to his Facebook friend quite understandably and appear to give him the required ‘space’. 

Of course when the lovers break up, they do feel bad about it and do their best to patch up. But nothing is over done or exaggerated; everything receives its right amount of attention. Siddharth feels bad about his ‘sodappal’ but that does not stop him from having fun with his friends. Amala also misses him, but she too carries on with the preparation of a family function. In short, this is the actual realism because life does not stop for anything and more so for LOVE!

In the same film, Pooja breaking with Balaji first and then getting into a relationship with John also reflects the same behavior. Glum moments are bound to be there but they are only momentary. This kind of sensibility may definitely have not worked in a few decades earlier and may have appeared hugely implausible then.   

Gone are the maudlin moments (at least in a few films) where the artists speak mushy sentimental dialogues and say things like I will die if I don’t have you and I am born for you. Wonder if such dialogues would work today! “It will be good if things work out between us, if not, let us still be friends and carry on”

One even wonders if the scenes like the one in Shankar directed Jeans where Aishwarya Rai secretly and religiously holding on to the chocolate wrappers, soft drink cans and such paraphernalia of Prashanth would evoke the same sentiment that it did then with the rationale of the current YouTube generation.

To sum it all, KSE and Marina may not find their position in the annals of Tamil cinema for some extraordinary work but would definitely be a reference pointer for the changing urban sensibilities that defines a particular time period.

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