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Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru from Navrasa exposes the unfairness of men who want a modern life partner but also want them to act like their mothers & pamper them!
During the corona pandemic, when the world of the people of India came to a standstill, OTT platforms emerged as an alternative to entertainment. The production of films came to a complete standstill due to the lockdown, which had a huge impact on the lives of the crew members who made the films.
Mani Ratnam and Jayesh, two stalwarts of the South, decided to make a big film show to help support production of the films of the South, the proceeds of which would go to the crew members. Film actors from the south and several producer-directors came to the fore in this collaboration. That’s how Netflix show Navarasa was born!
Everyone made a plan to tell their own story on the subjects of of human sentiments like compassion, makeup, humour, heroic, valour and peace and this project became Navarasa!
It is 9 stories told on the Natyashastra of Bharat Muni, the original scripture of acting. It is undoubtedly a great effort, but it is difficult to say whether Navarasa’s nine stories will be successful in impressing the audience.
In these Navarasas, the story told on sringar rasa ‘Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru’ directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, which is based on an emotional romance, is in the news. Its meaning could be loosely translated in English as “tune made on the strings of the heart”.
Kamal (Suriya) is a musician. He mixes the emotions of life in the tunes of music. In these musical expressions, he mixes a sense of respect and love he feels for women. He wants to go to London as he feels India is not the right place for the kind of work he wants to do.
That’s when he meets Nethra (Pragya Martin) who is a singer. From the very first meeting, he starts bonding with Nethra and begins to fall in love. When Nethra meets him, she sounds like his mother. She thinks and behaves like both Kamal’s mother and Kamal. Kamal sees this mixed behaviour as a hook and begins to fall for her.
Kamal is narrating all this in flashback. Along with love, separation also takes place in life. This first meeting with Nethra and the melody that emanates from that experience teaches him a lot about life. It makes him a better musician and Nethra becomes like a beautiful song for him.
As long as the story concentrates on music and expressions of life, it is very breezy and entertaining. The story then sounds a bit conservative when the main character not only finds his mother in his girlfriend but also falls in love with the same caring girl.
It is somewhat like Sigmund Freud’s ‘Oedipus complex’ where every man is looking for his mother in his girlfriend, who is in tune with the modern, but also has traditional qualities.
Sadly this idea and mindset has not only controlled women but forced them to be new wine in an old bottle.
Men look for a modern life partner in the modern environment and also look for the caring behaviour of their mother. A woman who looks modern but who takes care of everything for him is his idea of a perfect life-partner. While talking on Apple phone, he want to eat ‘silbatte ki chutney’ (chutney made with grinding stone) because the chutney churned in the mixie doesn’t have the same taste.
When the story throws itself at this juncture, one wonders whether there can be any feminist critique of Bharat Muni Natyashastra’s Navarasa or is acting, art, theatre free from it? If it is free, then why is it free?
This conservative sound of the story is abrupt and stops you from enjoying the film fully. The payoff of this storytelling is that its conservative side doesn’t get loud. The love being created between Kamal and Nethra has you completely involved. The acting of both is amazing and very balanced. Especially the scenes and dialogues shot on the bike. The moments Gautham has chosen and filmed between Suriya and Pragya are amazingly romantic.
The shooting of Guitar Kambi Mele Nindru which ended in just five days, tells how dedicatedly the people associated with Navarasa have worked for the cooperation of humanity.
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There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
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