Being a nineties child, I remember watching Jayalaithaa on television- probably for the first time- on a show called Rendezvous With Simi Garewal! The only memory I had of hers via the interview was her round face that resembled my mum’s. And of course my ears used to hear her name, while papa had his News times. As a child I knew- she was famous.
Cut-to, our new LED TV after years of CRT in the year 2020- MX Player- QUEEN was the first web series on an OTT platform that I chose to watch. Based on Jayalalithaa’s life, here the role was being played by Ramya Krishan. The series gave me a reason to revive the memories of Simi Garewal’s interview with Jayalalithaa, and I watched it again on YouTube.
And obviously I had been waiting to watch Director Vijay’s Thalaivii for a long long time. Strong women attract strong women. Hai na?
Kangna Ranaut plays Jayalalithaa in Thalaivii, and there is no doubt that in spite of her being too loquacious, I like her. I like to watch her when she is not acting. I like to watch her when she is acting.
About the movie!
When you watch a biopic, the persona, on whose life the movie is based, takes over. I believe it takes over the actor, who is playing the role, as well as the viewer.
The FILAM has so much to showcase about the life of Jayalalithaa that it moves forward fast- without hovering on a particular incident.
Thalaivii makes you jive on your seats, when you watch Jayalalithaa’s life as an actor. It also makes you angry, when you see Jayalalithaa struggling to shun gender biases, she was surrounded with. Thalaivii makes you grin, when Jayalalithaa rips off the cunningness around.
Not to forget Arvind Swami- the cute looking man from ROJA. He plays the role of MGR- a Demi-God superstar of the common man and the reason why Jayalalithaa became Jayalalithaa. All the characters are well shaped. Though Madhu and Bagyashree do not see a lot of camera throughout the movie, but their presence is pleasurable.
The FILAM not at all looks pretentious as far as the projection of those times is concerned. Costumes, sets, the looks of Kangana Ranaut are handled carefully.
It is a good watch, without any regret. Jayalaithaa was an intimidating personality, especially for the opposite sex. How good or bad this could be for a woman- Jayalalithaa’s life journey, leaves you, to decide.