Radhamohan has to be our own Rajkumar Hirani.
With ‘Mozhi,’ he once again brings to Tamil cinema, a brand of feel-good that we usually associate with Rajkumar Hirani.
I couldn’t help thinking about Munna Bhai and Rajkumar Hirani all through ‘Mozhi.’
The mood is light throughout. There are some truly memorable moments extracted from slices of everyday life. There are well etched out support characters letting their sub-plots play the perfect foil to the overall scheme of things.
But it’s not just the feel and approach. The similarities start right from the content and the kind of stories they want to tell us.
Like Hirani, Radhamohan too believes in clean entertainment, and their films seem to brim of idealism. They both surely seem to hope that their films would bring reform and social change, with their protagonists personifying all the goodness in the world.
Both these chaps seem to adopt a classy sensitivity in portraying political correctness and still manage to deliver their stories and the message to the mass, without compromising their script.
They both love to keep their dialogues simple and casual, slowly building empathy towards all the support characters and setting the stage for the resolution, with the quintessential burst of melodrama.
This is the kind of stuff that should find its way into textbooks as far as sub-plot development goes. Remember the paralysed bald man in a coma (Anand, if I remember the character’s name right) in Munna Bhai? Now think about the mentally-disturbed bald professor stuck in the eighties. In both these movies, these sub-plots are introduced fairly early on, and kept hanging for a bit as the directors milk your sympathy, before finally letting human kindness (that’s why I say these guys are idealists) produce that moment you have been waiting for: The soppy finale. You want to see the man in the coma sit up and smile just as much as you want to see the professor get back his mental balance.
The filmmakers hold these cards back, diverting your attention towards the larger plot resolution before sneaking in the sub-plot resolution in a way that it totally compliments and completes the larger picture. Your eyes well up, just as that of all the other onlookers in the frame. The directors cut to the close-ups of these onlookers as they wipe their tears, a cue for you to hold yours back. Funny how both these guys use hardcore soppy drama to enhance the feel-good factor in their otherwise light films.
In both these films, there is plenty of comic book alienation and vibrantly larger-than-life song choreography, techniques that Hirani uses best. Be it the ‘mike-testing’ in ‘Munna Bhai’ or the bulb coming on and bells-ringing in ‘Mozhi.’
Both these guys seem to do pretty well in bringing out the drama in everyday life, with smart editing. If it was the carrom-board in ‘Munna Bhai,’ we have a cricket match in ‘Mozhi.’
You just can’t miss the similarities in content, approach and genre.
As excited I am about Hirani’s American outing with Munna Bhai, I can’t wait to watch what Radhamohan will do next.