Ramji and Suvalakshmi in "Nadhi Karaiyinilae" ... the characters linger in the viewers' mind.
AN OFFBEAT film that travelled as far as the Shanghai Film festival and won appreciation, Viswas' V. Sundar's "Nadhi Karaiyinilae", originally called "Jameela", is an absorbing presentation that has screenplay, dialogue and direction by actor Ponvannan.
The melodrama is at times stifling and the comedy track contrived, but involved portrayals by the lead players make "Nadhi ... " a worthy watch. Ponvannan has transformed Kannada woman novelist Sara Abubucker's story into a neat screenplay. And the writer's anger and anguish at the brutal subjugation of women have been well captured by Ponvannan whose sensitivity comes to the fore throughout the film. The poignant moments remind you of the yesteryear Hindi film, "Nikaah", that had a sterling performance by Salma Agha.
Jameela (Suvalakshmi) is the eldest of Mohamad Khan's (Rajan P. Dev) two daughters. The father's temper strikes terror in the household and his unreasonable anger eventually wreaks havoc on Jameela's life. The girl is happily married to Naseer (Ramji), a small time businessman who lives on the other side of the river. The second daughter Banu's marriage has been fixed, but Mohamad Khan does not have the resources to go ahead. Also, the debt incurred for Jameela's wedding is yet to be settled. With no way out, he approaches his son in law for monetary assistance. What he does not know is that Naseer himself is in dire straits. Enraged by Naseer's reply that he is no position to offer help, Mohamad connives to take Jameela and his grandchild to his home. Unaware of her father's showdown with her husband at the latter's shop the gullible Jameela accompanies her father.
When she realises that she's been duped by her father and has been estranged from her husband for good, it is too late. Mohamad Khan, with whom anger leaves no room for reasoning, sees to it that Naseer divorces Jameela (by saying "talaq" thrice). Jameela rises up in fury against her father and Mohamad is made to repent but it is already a point of no return for the young wife, because according to Islamic law, a woman divorced once cannot get back to her ex-husband, unless she marries somebody else again and either becomes a widow or is divorced by him. The long drawn process gives no easy chance for the loving husband and wife who yearn to be with each other. The story does have certain loopholes, but they are forgotten in Suvalakshmi's heartrending enactment, Rajan P. Dev's powerful performance and Ramji's subdued and effective portrayal, aided as they are by talented actors, such as Shanthi Williams. The so-called humour segment of the film is a sore point that's best forgotten.
Trotsky Marudhu's art projects a typical scenario of the monetarily struggling lower class. A couple of Sirpi's compositions are melodious.
"Nadhi Karaiyinilae" is for those who look for strong, realistic storylines tellingly told.
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