Language – Tamil

Release – 2016

Duration – (worthy) 118 mins 

After a dozen movies that talk about mother’s unconditional love and father’s un-celebrated sacrifices, Appa brings to the fore, a collective responsibility of every society in this world. With a realm of offbeat professions taking a plunge recently, it is a positive sign to see people who gather all the courage and dare to live their dream. Of course, all of the fertilizer is organic sweat and blood. Kani does not take the beaten track of glorifying father figure, but chooses to use Appa as a catalyst throughout the movie. Indeed a smart approach which goes to say that it could be anyone – Appa, amma, anna, akka, neighbor, relative, teacher … just anybody who is good and just.  However it is important to be good. Always. But no, there is no compromise on Appa character at any cost.

Appa is a case study. Relatively. There is Nadunilayaan – an aspiring mediocre, who believes it is ok to be good to good people and bad for bad. There is Thambi Ramaiah with a truck of insecurity. And then there is (Daya) Samudhrakani who approaches like a medicine – very harsh at the start but healing and long-lasting kindness. He proves that being good to everyone could potentially instill the same goodness in others. It is contagious.

Daya – No matter how noble and sweet your dad has been to you, you would still yearn for a bit of Daya. Will human mind ever cease to want more or feel adequate? A bit of envy will creep in, despite a great father in our lives. I think that is the crowning success of this film. We just lived our childhood. We never had a chance to view it in front of us. Appa shows us all of our good times with the intricacies that we missed to observe. The movie helps us learn what it takes to be a better person. Is that it maybe? Have we been fortunate to live such beautiful times? Unbelievable!

Puthagangale .. maanavargalai kizhithu vidaadheergal

(To all the books out there  … please don’t tear away the students)

– That sense of elevating human presence over everything else, without compromising on any of the materialistic attribute’s value; Book titles that that the camera flashes in front of our eyes just to complete a scene; The

wooden bookshelf in the tree – are all outstanding mastery with the props that hammer a nail on the head.

Thanks to the very negative teachers in the PTA meeting. We get to hear Kani’s reasoning on the duties of a school.

“We parents are just supporters. We should not dump our dreams and wishes into the child. Every soul has its purpose. And we are merely the GPS in their journey. They are the drivers of their life.”

Befitting truth! As a parent, it is high time we learn that we are the positive charge carriers in the nucleus of life. We are not the current. The current comes from the child’s mind. It boils down to losing in the battle of societal acceptance and ego. Honestly winning/losing should not matter for You Only Live Once YOLO! Intent of keeping the kids happy, and nurturing their inborn talents and interests, gets lost due to peer pressure.

When Thambi Ramaiah shouts that he has imparted confidence, his kid accepts and shies away in fear submitting to his father’s question – Irony! Brilliant character plays!

Indian/Tamil democracy dances in front of our eyes when Kani regrets speaking up for the crowd. No wonder a resort decided the leader of our state. Pathetic state. The school of politics and the politics in our schools, stoop too low to compete and stink with garbage.

Branding an opposite ideology as communism/terrorism/attention-seeking – don’t we all do this until we become aware of what we do. Low acceptance is not new(s) to us after all!

The future of a child is not in the educational institution/city/state/country/caste he/she belongs to – rather it is in the child. It is housed in the child’s dreams. That’s where it comes from. After all the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams isn’t it? 🙂

Despite the clarity in his thoughts, Daya’s setbacks hover in his household in its most stubborn form. The pangs of an innocent mind, that wishes to turn deaf to all the trauma and drama, is grossly captured as the viewer wishes to pause or fast forward the progress bar of the video. How I wished! And there comes again Kani, to rescue us all.

As Kani tries to search for his son on the road, the camera moves far away telling us the physical distance between the two characters. Brilliant techniques!

Kani teaches trust. He demonstrates that trust is nothing but the first step in the difficulty of being good. It just takes one person to put one foot forward and then humanity catches on. Dint we all agree to it during our Chennai rains?

Why is their tete-e-tete in a bus? Is it because life is a journey? Without disturbing the boy’s emotions towards the girl, he allows the chess horses to decide their pace and gallops. It is rather a bold and broad-minded step towards adolescence. The clever choice of opposite seats outside the house stands tall as a towering example of dignity and friendship. All it takes to get past cowardice, nervousness and embarrassment is a dialogue and an unbiased space for the other person to express them. It is a lesson indeed for teen adults and adult kids.

Baby steps towards integrity is transparency. When the girl is asked not to hide her visits from her parents, Kani’s integrity is a book of nobility not be shelved ever.

Mayilvaahanam’s witty humor is not to be sidetracked for this gives the chance to showcase a good brought up versus a poor one. The ripple effect of the dialogues moving from one character to another bang presses the consistency of the script and the storyline. “Valarppu seri illapa” is a classic example.

“Mudila na sollidu da”

(If you can’t, do say that out loud)

“Na andha vaarthaye payanpaduthardhilliy!”

(But I don’t ever use that word)

Note that he doesn’t say “can’t” even for the sake of this sentence – Impressive detailing! That’s what a fully grown healthy mind sounds like!

Suffocation, character assassination, cowardice, threat, and force reaps insecure, psychologically affected young minds.

While wit, humor, freedom, courage, affection, healthy ideas, and kindness blossoms into a beautiful young mind.

After all, no matter how old we grow, aren’t we all the child we were brought up to be? We surround ourselves with those people who see us for the child inside us. In that case . . .

nalladhor veenai seidhe, adhai nalam keda puzhudhiyil erivadhundo?

anbin paadhai serndhavanukku mudive illaiyada . . .

manadhin neelam edhuvo adhuve vaazhvin neelamada . . .

At a loss for words to translate the above lines. Please take dear Google’s help for assistance. Once you do, please watch this movie with subtitles if you do not understand Tamil. Every parent to be, every teacher, neighbor, aunt, uncle and grandparents out there need to educate themselves of a growing child’s mind before they grow one!

Appa – Kandippa paaruppa . . . !



Author: gogal

Pensive pen. Nostalgic nutella. Read through, and you wont regret.

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