i hadn’t watched a movie in a cinema in nine month, a gestation that could have begotten …
Arvind Swamy, an actor from Chennai, was last seen by me in the role of an undeserved loser, in MINSARA KANAVU! If amnesia had not taken its toll on me, he outsources the task of confessing his love for Kajol to Prabhu Deva, and as Miles Standish was shown by Longfellow long back:
But of a thundering “No!” point-blank from the mouth of a woman,
That I confess I’m afraid of, nor am I ashamed to confess it!
So you must grant my request, for you are an elegant scholar,
Having the graces of speech, and skill in the turning of phrases.”
Taking the hand of his friend, who still was reluctant and doubtful,
Holding it long in his own, and pressing it kindly, he added:
“Though I have spoken thus lightly, yet deep is the feeling that prompts me;
Surely you cannot refuse what I ask in the name of our friendship!”
Then made answer John Alden: “The name of friendship is sacred;
What you demand in that name, I have not the power to deny you!”
Thereupon answered the youth: — “Indeed I do not condemn you;
Stouter hearts than a woman’s have quailed in this terrible winter.
Yours is tender and trusting, and needs a stronger to lean on;
So I have come to you now, with an offer and proffer of marriage
Made by a good man and true, Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth!”
Thus he delivered his message, the dexterous writer of letters, —
Did not embellish the theme, nor array it in beautiful phrases,
But came straight to the point, and blurted it out like a schoolboy;
Even the Captain himself could hardly have said it more bluntly.
Mute with amazement and sorrow, Priscilla the Puritan maiden
Looked into Alden’s face, her eyes dilated with wonder,
Feeling his words like a blow, that stunned her and rendered her speechless;
Till at length she exclaimed, interrupting the ominous silence:
“If the great Captain of Plymouth is so very eager to wed me,
Why does he not come himself, and take the trouble to woo me?
If I am not worth the wooing, I surely am not worth the winning!”
Then John Alden began explaining and smoothing the matter,
Making it worse as he went, by saying the Captain was busy, —
Had no time for such things; — such things! the words grating harshly
Fell on the car of Priscilla; and swift as a flash she made answer:
“Has he no time for such things, as you call it, before he is married,
Would he be likely to find it, or make it, after the wedding?
That is the way with you men; you don’t understand us, you cannot.
When you have made up your minds, after thinking of this one and that one,
Choosing, selecting, rejecting, comparing one with another,
Then you make known your desire, with abrupt and sudden avowal,
And are offended and hurt, and indignant perhaps, that a woman
Does not respond at once to a love that she never suspected,
Does not attain at a bound the height to which you have been climbing.
This is not right nor just: for surely a woman’s affection
Is not a thing to be asked for, and had for only the asking.
When one is truly in love, one not only says it, but shows it.
Had he but waited awhile, had he only showed that he loved me,
Even this Captain of yours — who knows? — at last might have won me,
Old and rough as he is; but now it never can happen.”
So like in the case of Miles Standish, Arvind Swamy becomes a victim of the woman’s whim and transference of love to the messenger!
Contrast it with the Biblical episodes of Eliezar asking for Rebekkah’s hand on behalf of Isaac or the servants of David going to the recently widowed Abigail for her hand on behalf of David!
Arvind Swamy came out as a quintessential decent non-intrusive cool guy in his earlier avatars. But in THANI ORUVAN, he has portrayed himself with the élan of Robert De Niro, with a disappointed twitch of his eyes when things don’t go as planned, or a pensive internally focussed look in his eyes when crossed!
Arvind Swamy has taken Thamizh cinema, rather lifted it from those loud villainy of the Asokans, Nambiars and Kabalis!
Hope Arvind Swamy would act in more roles of this type. The movie was an experience in flawless logic, with each strand of the plot justified with ease without any contrived deus ex machina!
Wouldn’t mind watching it the third time!