Monday, September 10, 2012

The Most Beautiful Romantic Scene in Indian Cinema

Well at least to me. So it does not necessarily have to be true. But if you disagree, feel free to point out any flaws here. Now if you’re a fan of romantic Indian dramas, then you can easily guess from which movie this scene comes from. If you’re a true romantic, then you’d probably got it right. It’s from Gautham Menon’s modern classic Vinaithandi Varuvaaya (Will She Cross The Skies). 

As for the scene, it just has to be the one towards the climax, where Karthik (Simbu) and Jessie (Trisha) bump into one another in New York after a bitter break up three years ago in Chennai. Both assume the other one has moved on with his or her life. So the conversation starts of pretty casual with Jessie doing most of the talking, asking how Karthik’s family is back home and all. For the first time between them, Karthik is the more silent one. The only background score at this point is silence. 

But as Jessie starts to ask more intimate questions about Karthik’s love life, we feel certain awkwardness in the scene, which is in contrast with the bright spring sun shining upon Central Park. This is where Rahman comes in. He provides little strums of his guitar to show to rising tension in the conversation taking place. 

Jessie, being the indecisive tweak she is, asks Karthik to describe the new girl in his life. Obviously, we know she is secretly hoping he hasn’t moved on so they can get back together. But he starts describing this so-called new girl of his, not realising the sudden change on her face. Gautham Menon leads us into thinking that Karthik is describing Nandhini (Samantha). But it all just doesn’t seem to fit. Karthik says she wears sarees a lot, but we were never got to see Nandhini wearing one. But his description does fit another girl the audience is familiar with. Then Gautham drops the bomb; “Padam paakka avalukku pidikkadhu (She does not like watching movies).” 

Welcome back Rahman! The Hosanna melody starts playing at the background. Jessie realises at the same time as us that Karthik has been describing her all along. Now if you’re a Rahmaniac like me, then you will totally relate to me when I say at this point, I fell love with the Mozart of Madras all over again! It just reminded me how I grew up listening to his background score in all these famous Tamil romantic films like Jeans, Alaipayuthey, Bombay, Kandukondain Kandukondain, Kadhal Desam, Kadhalar Dhinam, Minsaru Kanavu, Duet, May Madham and so much more. The background music from all these films still haunts me till this very day.

"Avvw perre Jessie, Jessie..." I cheered like one of those rowdies at the cinema. But it was okay since I was watching the film on DVD on my laptop alone in my room -  the best way to enjoy a romantic film.   

But back to the present. When Karthik says that he thinks Jessie is already married, Rahman provides a shocking tense-rising drum twang. This of course mirrors the shocked look on Jessie’s face. She then says, “Naa kalyanam paneekele, Karthik. (I didn’t get married, Karthik.). Once again, there is no background music, as if Gautham and Rahman are giving us time to process the truth. Jessie continues, “Unnai venna soluthu ponne. Adhu unmei dhan. Anna naa kalyanam paneekele.” 

And once the surprise has sunken in, there is Megha’s angelic humming at the background. It starts with Hosanna's melody and ends with parts of Manipaaya. No instrumentals, just the soothing sound of her humming, as if to cure the pain Karthik had to endure all this time thinking he had lost Jessie. Then that one teardrop falls from Karthik’s eye. 

Never had the Tamil audience seen such poetry manifest itself on screen in years. 

But Karthik is enraged, having realised that what he had to go through all this time was for nothing. We sense the tension rising with Rahman’s guitar work playing along. As Jessie prepares to leave, he stops her and immediately proposes. There is a hint of humour when Karthik says that she would blame him one day for not proposing right now since the moment had gone. Well, that’s exactly what she had been doing most of the time throughout the film. 

And she says yes. The cymbals signify the turn of events. Then the guitar returns along with the piano, and the most romantic background score is player, not sentimental this time, but more of a rejoicing tonne. Karthik and Jessie embrace, and since they are in New York and not Chennai, they share a passionate kiss. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is, in my head, the most beautiful ROMANTIC scene in the history of Indian cinema to date.

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