Often I used to think that why the growing rate of women empowerment is not falling on the shadows of cinema. Still many in the country are thinking that empowerment of women is dancing with fancied dresses for Item numbers or boldly locking lips with a guy or acting like a buffoon who never behaves like a matured adult. That is were I went wrong because for that we have witnessed the work of people who write and direct women in their films from their soul not from their minds.
Whenever I see the name Sridevi, one thing I remember is she sitting on a sofa wearing a beautiful yellow colored saree, with her legs folded showing the subtle nervousness yet pretending to be bold. Now if you look at this the first point I would like to explain here is the pose at which she was sitting. A woman sitting with her legs folded on a couch? Yes it was bold for a woman in the 70’s. And another scene – Sridevi, a stage singer in the film, proposes her love in a simple and elegant way to a man who is sitting opposite to her (who is hiding his Identity from her). On seeing this scene for the time my thoughts went to movies were women pretend to be shy and not so speaking out, pretending to a man as though they are aliens and not having emotions.
Ilayaraja is a maestro for RR. A musician is called a good composer in cinema when he uses silence perfectly. With subtle musical vibrations in the background he keeps the places silent were the camera moves to closeups for Sridevi. Coming back to the man opposite to her that is Rajnikanth who can’t accept that call from her says a ‘no’ with his heart saying a ‘yes’ inside, but for a particular bitter truth that he alone knows.
This is where the child in the woman comes out. If we observe children or remember our childhood days, we would have wanted something and asked our mom or dad but due to some reason they would have said no upon seeing us getting sad they will buy it for us and make the teary eyed child start laughing with them. The same way Sridevi outbursts on hearing his no and starts to cry and words unfold from her and Rajinikanth pacifies her because deep in his heart he is bonded with her. Some situation stops him from saying a yes.
In this particular part of the scene the actor Rajini would have overtaken your mind with his subtle performance. He would have handled the outburst with a carefulness which comes from the backdrop of the love that he has for her. “Athukulla ennamo padapada nu pesiteengale” says Rajini. Sridevi replies “na apdi than pesuven”. The scene finishes with rollercoaster ride of emotions were both the actors would have expressed their happiness, nervousness with a drama yet not so melodramatically.
This film came from a man who changed the path of melodramatic Tamil cinema into a stream of storytelling close to reality. It is none other than Mahendra. Not to forget the name of the film – JOHNNY!