In Engeyum Eppodhum, all three stages of filmmaking are given equal importance- Pre-production, filming and Post-production. That is a deviation from Kollywood's way of doing things and in this case, the deviation is a healthy one. Finally we have a film that is hinged on, not on the star or the distributor marketing it, but the screenplay- one that crisscrosses through two equally interesting strands of stories. It is structured so that you are left with no choice but to keep your eyes affixed and dog the footsteps of the story. Those of you who have seen the trailer will know that the story ends in a fiasco. Engeyum Eppodhum doesn't try to hold more ideas than it can and its reach exceeds its grasp. The characters are well-rounded and their remarkable chemistry isn't one you instantly detect, but one that you see blossoming. The world outside of the four main characters isn't a foreign one. It is enriched with supporting characters that are seasoned with a range of personalities. Revealing the characters' personalities would only debase the subjectivity administered by the implicit yet distinct characterization. You are at liberty to see and perceive them through your own eyes.
The film also boasts a quartet of invisible performances. You don't see any of them doing any 'acting'. At a time when using makeup artists to showcase the actor's versatility is in vogue, here we have Ananya, Jai, Anjali and Shrawanand inhabiting real souls. Cinematography is essentially methodical- to back the film's content, not set itself apart as an individual entity. Sathya's music numbers gel well with the film.
The film is hard hitting not just because you empathize with its characters but because the fears induced in the onlookers of the aforementioned fiasco, reflect your own. Just like the characters have arcs in the film, so do we in our lives. We don't know how that arc is going to progress but it might just turn out disastrous. Our lives are suspended by a thin thread and we've been hanging from it long enough to forget that it is in fact, thin.
Engeyum Eppodhum reminds us of the fragility of our own lives. It is one of the year's best.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
(4 / 5) : Very Good