PUTHAM PUDHU KAALAI VIDIYAADHAA (Tamil Anthology)
Directors: Balaji Mohan, Halitha Shameem, Madhumita, Suriya Krishna and Richard Anthony, Joju George & Nadia Moidu, Sananth, Arun Kurian & Dhilip Subbarayan and Aishwarya Lekshmi.
Cast: Gouri Kishan & Tejeenthan Arunasalam, Lijomol Jose, Arjun Das & Dog Roger (Dude)
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Amazon Prime Video has yet again come up with 5 noteworthy filmmakers replicating the life in lockdown through 5 different but interesting stories. ‘Putham Pudhu Kaalai Vidiyaadhaa’ is the second edition of the Tamil anthology ‘Putham Pudhu Kaalai’. The lockdown that followed the pandemic almost 2 years ago changed something or the other for every single person without any exception across the globe. While for some it turned out to be sadly shattering as well as detrimental, for others, the change did bring out something good, but all said and done, the change was constant. All the 5 films capture stories of hope, love and second chances in a more mature form compared to season 1. This series is set during India’s second lockdown and also tells stories of resilience, and humanity.
The first of the five different anthologies is Mugakkavasa Mutham, a light-hearted story that describes the duty and test the police officers were put to and how a male cop and a female cop set out to unite a madly- in- love couple during the lockdown by kidnapping the girl Manasa from her own house and enabling her to elope with her boyfriend Lokesh. Gouri Kishan plays the police officer Kuyili with aplomb while Tejeenthan scores with his performance as the silent lover cop Murugan. Thumbs up to director Balaji Mohan.
Halitha Shameem deserves kudos for casting Lijomol Jose (of Jai Bhim fame) in his anthology titled Loners about a city girl trying to make friends with a stranger ( Arjun Das), and dwells upon the baggage of losing a friend to the pandemic and sharing their grief. After going through a break up in the pandemic, Nalla (Lijimol Jose) serendipitously meets Dheeran (Arjun Das) on a virtual wedding get together.
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In the anthology Mouname Paarvaiyaal directed by Madhumita & her team, which is by far the best of the entire lot, you fall in love with both the husband played by Joju George and wife played by Nadia Moidu, a mid-aged couple who are forced to share the same roof and live in the same house but are not on talking terms. When Yashoda begins to show symptoms of the virus, the couple is forced to confront their distance and navigate complex emotions and set out to reunite after their love is rekindled.
In the anthology titled The Mask, director Surya Krishna talks sensitively about the inner struggle that the members of the LGBTQ+ community go through. Sanath( Arjun) and his gay partner Paul (Arun Kuriyan) after spending a year in lockdown want to come out and move in together. But Arjun, who is a quintessential work-from-home IT professional, struggles to tell his overbearing parents about his secret relationship. An out-of-the-blue rendezvous with an old school friend Velu (Dilip Subbarayan) alters the course of both their lives and inspires self-acceptance like never before.
Directed by Richard Anthony, starring Aishwarya Lakshmi and Nirmal Pillai and written by Richard and Praveen Shivram, the last anthology Nizhal Tharum Idham is about a woman who is going through a void. Every death creates a void, even when it is someone you hate. And that gives rise to longing and the zealous zest to find the redemption after a deep felt catharsis.