Monday, September 29, 2014

Madras (2014)

This article is intended for people who have seen Pa. Ranjith’s Madras.

Set in Vyaasarpadi, "Madras" tells the story of the residents of housing board apartments who are caught up in a turf war between two political parties. In an expository prologue, a narrator establishes the film's primary conflict - whoever controls a particular wall of an unfortunately located apartment gets to establish themselves as the stronger of the two parties, thus cementing political success. Disregarding the nitty-gritty logistics, on a baser level, the issue boils down to show of power, the wall holding the key to all the problems for the stakeholders. It's a simple, yet potent and compelling premise that ever pivots around this sevuru. Painted on the wall is the face of a dead man whose son Kannan is a member of the incumbent political party. Hidden behind a huge mustache, always lit up in the dark, ever appearing to be in a smile mocking the people caught up in this senseless mayhem. It's a territory war saga that has trickled down generations, destroying too many families, taking too many lives, with a ceasefire offering only temporary solace.