A revisit of one of the most ‘disturbing’ love stories of the millennium, on the occasion of its sixth anniversary…
by Mani Prabhu
Writing two intense, moody and glitched-up protagonists that stubbornly hold on to their ideologies, ending up in a never-ending labyrinth of bonding and hate. and proceeding to make an entire generation fall hopelessly in love with their eccentricities, is no mean feat.
Gautham Vasudev Menon nails it in style in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa with the characterizations of Karthik and Jessie – two individuals who turn out to be more complex than what they project in the outside.
When the ambitious Karthik sees Jessie for the first time, the song in his head – and probably taking a cue, his heart too – skips a beat. He realizes that he needs her to complete that missing piece of jaw-dropping art, which lies conceptualized within the confines of his soul. Its the whimsical calling of a creator, trying to escape at least a part of his unexciting routine.
Hailing from a conservative Malayali Christian family, Jessie is literally a bundle of contradictions – a staggering mix of conservatism and free-spirit. She is more shocked than excited, when she finds out that the boy down-stairs is irreversibly smitten on her. But has she ever experienced the feeling of being loved?
While Karthik treats love just like an over-enthusiastic debutante director trying to carve his first film – reckless, dreamy and eager to make a difference, Jessie treats it like a first year college kid being forced to have a joint – curious, resistant and apprehensive.
While Karthik is someone who takes decisions listening to the heart, Jessie is the kind who pauses for an extra moment and attempts to listen to reason.
What happens if they decide to be ‘friends’ for a while?
All it takes for us to realize the lost cause, is a train journey.
All subsequent conflict happens within the leads’ heads, with Jessie, in particular, going into exasperatingly indecisive pangs. One moment, she seems stubbornly in love and the very next, she appears to be a very different person, torn between her dreams and the reality.
From “How much of her erstwhile ties would she risk for Karthik?” passing through “Would she risk anything for Karthik, at all?” to reach “Would she prefer to risk Karthik for her family?”, Jessie’s capriciousness effortlessly gets to our heads.
Why does she behave the way she does? Is she oxymoronically caged in a situation, where she derives her autonomy from her close bonds, so much so that the slightest imagination of any autonomy outside of those ties, makes her instantly panic?
After a while, as the proceedings get muddled with endlessly-expanding ripples, everything seems like a Christopher Nolan movie. Only that, its going on inside Jessie’s head.
All credits to Gautham to have given us a scintillating sneak peak!