As the year comes to an end, here are some of the best dialogue moments that made us go wow.
1. ‘’Will you marry me?’’
Film: Yennai Arindhaal
Dialogues by Gautham Vasudev Menon
In this stretch that is sure to leave you lost for words, Sathyadev proposes to a hesitant Hemanika, who is just recovering from a failed marriage. Gautham stages this sequence with such sensitive brilliance that Sathyadev is neither portrayed as the martyr or the savior. The beauty of this portrayal lies in the nonchalance with which Hemanika’s past is brushed aside with neither blatant nor subtle references. It doesn’t matter. Nobody is bothered. Neither the maker nor Sathyadev. And Hemanika is not the damsel in distress – the kind that would need saving. In fact, she is the one who would need to call the shots finally. The emphasis of the dialogues is clearly not on the romantic melodrama, but instead, beautifully shifts between more pressing issues of parental apprehensions and apparent adjustments. How will her child Isha adapt to their living under a single roof? What if they have kids together? When Sathyadev tells Hemanika that they wouldn’t need any more kids, the sincerity in his voice resonates deep within. But amidst all the high-voltage drama, Gautham casually throws in a quip about this decision necessitating a few extra trips to the pharmacy. And at this moment, he unleashes his chef-d’-oevre move, when Sathyadev goes searching for the elders of the home, brings Isha and asks for her permission. Classic GVM!
2. “Naattukaga lam illa…Nee ketta… Naan kodukren.”
Film: Thani Oruvan
Dialogues by Subha and Mohan Raja
When was the last time a writer treated the good and the bad guy as two halves of the same person in a mad cat and mouse game for superiority, and for that reason, end up as equals in ability and competence? If you look closely, aren’t they the bright and shadowy shades of the many-coloured human psyche? And don’t either of them have something that the other wants, even if that amounts to just keeping the other on his toes? In Thani Oruvan, Mohan Raja rides on this intriguing thought and gives us a cracker of a climax that shatters several unwritten rules of Tamil cinema. Siddharth Abhimanyu is pure evil. He had climbed the ladder of success, crushing almost everything that came in his way. He knows no failure. He is a master of mind games. And he uses his charisma to veil his indifference. So, when Mithran IPS meets his match in Siddharth, he takes it upon him to destroy the man’s empire and finally gets to him. Siddharth, realizing that he has been cornered, is no mood to lose to a equal opponent. He doesn’t accept the life that was offered to him, but gives Mithran the life that he asked for. All through the game, Siddarth had been more daunting of the two because he doesn’t play by the rules. While Mithran bound by his own goodness, offers to protect the crimes in exchange for classified information, Siddarth, floored by Mithran, walks away with this stunning quote in the end. As of every iconic villain, Siddharth emerges as the hero of his own destiny.
3. “Idhuku Aaya Suta Dosaiye Nallairundhuchu”
Film: Kaaka Muttai
Dialogues by Manikandan
For the sibling duo, Periya Kaaka Muttai (12) and Chinna Kaaka Muttai (8), who live in one of the biggest slums of Chennai, tasting a pizza from the neighborhood fast-food joint becomes a life time dream. When the kids manage to save some money and turn up at the popular pizza store, they get kicked out by the manager. Manikandan follows their escapades from there on and finally brings us to this ‘goose-bumps’ climax, which leaves us endeared, while simultaneously questioning several societal myths. The two kids look baffled, as they are brought inside the store surrounded by flashing lights and over-enthusiastic reporters. Once seated, the little one complains that it’s too cold. Air-conditioning is new to him. And soon enough, the thing they have been craving gets served on a plate. It had taken months of hard work and lots of humiliation to arrive here. Their eyes light up as they look at each other, but the hesitancy lingers. The owner feeds them each a piece and moves away. People cheer. With their mouths full, they sit there trying to make sense of it all. The older one turns and asks his brother if he really likes it, to which the little one responds saying their grandma’s dosa-pizza had tasted much better. The warmth of the dialogue easily overshadows the underlying stunning social commentary. The entire society’s consumerist ideals have been questioned with an innocent smile.
4. “Naa Romba Chinna Aalu.. Suyanalam pudichavan”
Dialogues by Jeyamohan
An accidental murder. Contrasting perspectives of justice involving two sets of parents- one of the offender and other of the victim. And both capable of going to any length for their children. Suyambulingam hatches an elaborately staged scam to save his family, who were pushed to commit the crime, from the dark side of the law and ultimately succeeds. The helpless parents of the boy, after looking at everything this man has resolutely withstood, request a final confirmation so that they need not harbour hope that their son would turn up some day. With literally no hopes of hearing a confession, they settle for a closure. But Suyambulingam, unlike the more shrewd and stone-faced George Kutty, turns out to be an emotional person who wears his heart on his sleeve. When you have committed a murder, a part of you dies within, they say. Suyambu seems to be struggling hard to get it out. Caught between excruciating guilt and intent, he finds it difficult to find the right words. He contemplates on his apparent selfishness, calling himself a ‘small’ person who knows very little outside his family. The gnawing pain in his heart is apparent in his quivering voice. “When we had an uninvited guest who threatened to destroy everything that I hold dear, we had to send him away so that he never returns”, he manages somehow. With the stiff George Kutty, we connected with his determination to save his family against all the odds. But Jeyamohan beautifully brings out the wrenching pain of an apparent sin and the subsequent yearning for absolution through Suyambulingam.
5. “En Kudha US Vandudhu.. Nee En Kuda Paris Vaa.. Adhu Kashtam… Enakum Kashtam Daana!”
Film: OK Kanmani
Dialogues by Mani Rathnam
Adhi, a video-game developer, wants to work in the United States. Tara, a budding architect, aspires to study in Paris. They bump into each other at a friend’s wedding in India and hit it off. And it’s instant magnetism. They go for coffee. They like each other. They date. They enjoy each other company. They decide to live in together… till their future pursuits. They respect each other’s priorities and personal spaces. Its literally heaven on earth – until the inevitable happens. Adhi gets an offer from a prestigious gaming firm in the US. If only falling in and out of love was that easy? Tara knows it. While she confesses her pain to her friendly landlord with a shimmering smile on her face, Adhi is less vocal about it. What’s running in his mind? Is he really the one he thinks is? Like Tara, we are equally confused. This particular scene happens in front of The Gateway of India, where Tara pours her concern and confusions over their imminent separation, and Adhi asks her to come to the US. By this time Tara’s dependence and uncertainty in dealing with Adhi’s absence has started getting to our heads. As we stare on for her response, she shoots back “Why don’t you come to Paris? It’s the same here, Adhi. I can’t sacrifice one for the other.” That second, that beautiful second, Mani Ratnam casually subverts the way female leads have been portrayed in the context of our romantic dramas.
6. “Pizhaigal Yaatho? Kuttrangal Yaatho? Naagangal Yaatho? Theethum Yaatho? Nandrum Yaatho? Arinthathaaro..”
Film: Kuttram Kadithal
Dialogues by Bramma. G
Though these particular lines occur as a part of the soundtrack, the brilliant usage (in a scene screaming silence) to bring out the soul of the film makes it worthy of this list. An unexpected untoward incident at school throws teacher Merlin’s life ruthlessly off track. An impulsive moment of physical force on a student triggers a chain of repercussions that rapidly spirals out of control. The boy is left unconscious, battling stages of coma. Advised to leave the city by the Principal, Merlin goes on a agonizing guilt trip. The boy’s single mother is left riled, confused and anguished. After several painful hours of self-loathing and emotional perplexity, Merlin arrives at the hospital to confront the grieving mother. Bramma uses the troubled mind of a woman, who fearing that she has been bitten by a snake, lets the fear kill her before the venom does, to nail Merlin’s self-flagellating mindset. Merlin, in a daze, falls at the feet of the mother and looks up at her. The mother sits there with an empty stare, quite unfazed. Merlin knows she deserves all the contempt. She attempts to speak, but instead breaks down uncontrollably. When does a mistake become a blunder? The mother slowly looks down at Merlin, picks her up and hugs her, even while mumbling that her son should not be made a casualty of fate. We now see two people – the apparent offender and the apparent victim. But, is it all static? Does one melt into the other, gradually blurring the line? By attempting a role reversal of sorts with this dialogue, Bramma muddles our emotions convincingly.
7. “Irukalaam.. Aana Avanga Enga Appa Illiye!”
Film: Uttama Villain
Dialogues by Kamal Haasan
Manoranjan, the money-spinning star of Tamil cinema, is at the peak of his self-centered professional career, when he gets hit with a diagnosis of Stage 4 brain tumor. After the initial shock, the terminal revelation grounds the aging alcoholic from his self-constructed world of intoxicating fame back to the harsh reality and leads him into a hitherto-ignored emotional juggernaut, overwhelmed with guilt over his years of apathy towards his family. He meets his son and tries to make amends. When he puts it in the plainest of words that he is dying, the boy is instantly lost for emotions. “Why did my father choose stardom over parental love?” The gnawing questions come back to haunt the teenage boy with vengeance, while he struggles to deal with this sudden life-changing revelation. When Manoranjan casually asks his son what he wants to do in life, the boy says that he wants to do a writing program in the UK or Columbia. “Why screenplay?” Eyes gleaming with intent, the boy continues “I want to write a sensible script befitting the talented performer in you, and show Kodambakkam who you really are!” The joys of seeing your kid stand up for you and shape his career with the sole purpose of proclaiming your talent. The pain of realizing that time and tumor wait for none and your death might stand between your son’s intent and execution. At a time. Terrific. “Well, Who might guess? May be, when you return after finishing your course, there might be a better actor in Tamil Nadu! Or better still, you will find a capable Tamil actor right in Columbia!” Manoranjan’s voice ends in a quiver. “Perhaps…” the boy pauses and struggles, “But they won’t be my dad, right?” There is no way you can ever fully express the pain of losing a loved one. There is no way you can make others, let alone your dad, understand the resilient dreams and pains you have endured. All you can do is to deal with things the best you can, and silently hope for destiny to interfere.