Nasir, played to subtle heights by Valavane Koumarane, is a man who is about embracing solitude and life’s hardships as much as love and companionship. He is content enough with life go about life without cribbing over grievances, but that doesn’t mean to say he isn’t aiming for better. I find him to be an aspirational character. Unlike the various tangents of his existence like romance, friendship, poetry and religion, politics isn’t something on his radar, but that’s simply not how life works. A man can mute the politics inside himself, but you can’t mute any man out of politics. This is the thought that takes a hard-hitting form in Arun Karthick’s meditative look at one simple day in the life of a Muslim man from Coimbatore.

The structure of this film is quite opposite to Sivapuranam. That film gave us an incident and then went on to document the mundaneness of it with respect to the guy’s daily life. In here, we have a thorough look at the man’s everyday life and then get to that incident. This second approach leaves more of an impact because you tend to read the mundane with the context of the incident that the film has just chosen to end with. This context can also be seen as providing us with a bias for looking at the rest of the events in the film. The incident is foreshadowed for sure, but only in a way that the crumbs are left in the sidelines and not in the middle of the path. Even though the ending defines the film, Arun by that time gives plenty of exclusively interesting images to take home, especially if you are into observing the prosaic details of everyday life. I believe it is skillful of a filmmaker to also make a larger point while touching upon many smaller stories that are happening away from that point. There are so many of these colourful micro-stories in the film, like the one set in a boys hostel of ignorant youth, the gossip among the employees of a store, the logistics of dating among school students, the caregiving for an adopted autistic child, and more.

The film doesn’t spend time on underlining the politics happening above these people, and simply uses it as a backdrop. This unfocused, deliberately meandering nature of the narrative is oddly helping the sucker punch of an ending to achieve its intended impact. The recreation of communal violence is as heavy as one can get. It is not aided by any poetic irony, there are no sensational parallels between the two opposing entities – only matter-of-fact portrayal. I am glad about getting to watch filmmakers like Arun who tell stories in life as is, moving out of the “rulebooks” that want us to look at stories only through the lens of potent drama.


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