Director Prabhu Solomon has always been known to make films which are different yet within the commercial space. Be it a King, Kokki, Lee or a Laadam, his intentions have been very clear- entertain and yet make the audience feel that they have been given something new in terms of subject or treatment. Ever since his last film Mynaa was ready it had been in the news for a lot of reasons. Be it for the various compliments the film had been receiving from most of the Industry members who had seen it or for the controversy created during the audio launch of the film, there had been a lot of talk about the film. That the film held promise was also becoming clear even before the release with the distribution rights being jointly taken up by AGS Entertainment & Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Red Giant Movies. Most importantly I was quite surprised to see them opting for a Diwali release last year (November 5th, 2010) where it was being pitted with films like Uthamaputhiran and Va Quarter Cutting.
Of course later on while watching the movie I realized that the release time couldn’t have been any better as the festival itself was being represented in the movie as an element or character. Well I’ll come to all that later but before that I certainly need to tell you what the film is all about. The film starts with the main plot involving Suruli (Vidharth) and Mynaa (Amala Paul). Theirs is a fairy tale kind of romance that starts from childhood. Suruli drops out of school and works hard to make a living. When he sees Mynaa and her mother in trouble, he takes them under his wing and becomes part of their life. As they grow up Suruli and Mynaa’s affection for each other only increases and Mynaa’s mother keeps referring to Suruli as her son-in-law (marumagane). But one day when Mynaa’s mother sees Mynaa & Suruli sharing a private moment, she decides to get Mynaa married off to someone working in Dubai.
Enraged at this Suruli threatens to kill Mynaa’s mother and she in turn complains to the cops who put him behind bars for 15 days. But on the 14th day of his sentence (the day before Diwali) Suruli gets to know that Mynaa is to get married the next day (Diwali) and hence escapes from Periyakulam jail. This situation then makes the jailor Bhaskar(Sethu) and a constable Ramaiah (Thambi Ramaiah) to go on a mission, to bring back Suruli to the jail by the end of the next day (Diwali). There is a sub plot as well in the movie, that of Bhaskar and his family. It is Bhaskar’s thala deepavali (first diwali after wedding which as per Tamil customs is to be spent at the in-law’s place) and his wife is eagerly looking forward to go to her family and celebrate the festival there with them. As Bhaskar and Ramaiah go about on their mission to bring back Suruli, Bhaskar’s wife and her brothers are constantly trying to reach Bhaskar and wanting him to get back soon to celebrate the festival together.
The movie then goes on to become a journey in the lives of Suruli, Mynaa, Bhaskar and Ramaiah for the duration of a day. Though basically a love story, Mynaa is much more than just a typical romantic film. For a major part of the film it’s a road movie and even keeps you hooked to your seats as you are waiting for something defining to happen any minute. Though you always know that the main plot and sub-plot will merge somewhere, the way it happens will still surprise you and leave you gasping. That is one of the best things that Prabhu Solomon has managed to achieve through the film. Another aspect of the film that needs to be praised is the choice of locations- the relatively virgin Kurangani ( near Bodi in the Tamilnadu-Kerala border ) and Munnar, the hill station in Kerala add a completely interesting dimension to the film.
M.Sukumar’s camera work is wonderful not just in the vibrant outdoor shots in the hills but also within the village interiors as you are actually transported right into the middle of the location. But for me if any one individual has surprised me with his work in the film, it has to be the music composer D.Imman. Known for his characteristic loud and mass numbers in film after film, the soulful songs and the BGM in Mynaa come as a pleasant surprise from him. Be it the playful ‘Kichu Kichu’ , the melodious ‘Kaiya Pudi’ and ‘Neeyum Naanum’, the naughty ‘Jingu Chikka’ or the title song ‘Mynaa Mynaa’, all of them are a joy to listen to and work wonderfully for the film.
Coming to the performances Vidharth who has been associated with Koothu Pattarai ( a well known theatre group based in Chennai ) is very effective as Suruli. Watch him in the scene inside the prison cell where he’s playing with a ball and later talking to Ramaiah and you’ll probably get an idea of how he does justice to the role. Amala Paul who was earlier seen in Sindhu Samaveli (featured as Anakha) and had made a mark with her role there, once again shows that she is a talent to watch out for. Post Mynaa though Amala Paul has already started going places. Bhaskar as Sethu the jailor puts in a sincere performance as well and brings out varied dimensions to the character easily. Thambi Ramaiah who has been seen in small roles till now gets a plum role this time & makes full use of the opportunity. He’s the one who provides the much needed light moments in between and keeps the tempo going.
It’s not just the main characters, even some of the supporting characters have also been well portrayed especially Sevvalai who plays Mayi, the father of Suruli and the lady who portrays the mother of Mynaa. Also very effective is the lady who plays the wife of Bhaskar as she catches your attention in the very first scene of the film. It’s not all that tough for a movie to catch your attention before the release by various means but to justify the kind of expectation raised early on isn’t possible for the majority of the films. Mynaa however is a film where you walk away with bitter sweet thoughts and keep thinking about for a long time long after you finish watching it. First time producers can take the example of John Max the producer of Mynaa who has believed in Prabhu Solomon & the strength of the film.
“Love pannunga sir, life nalla irukkum” (Fall in love sir, life will be good) says Suruli in the film- an innocent statement, but it can be really profound as well sometimes. You will realize this only after you watch this film.
Note- Originally written after Diwali- 2010, this is a re-edited post.