While under pressure from producers, most directors improve dance sequences and fight scenes to make their commercial products, to the detriment of the scenario, a director who has forged his own path and continues to follow, regardless of commercial considerations. The films of Cheran Porkkaalam, Bharati Kannamma, Pandavar Bhoomi were always in their content and style, against the current. Autograph is no exception to the rule.
The story focuses on Senthil (Cheran) a young man who works in an advertising agency, whose marriage approaching. It decided to invite to this event all the characters that have marked his life since childhood. Returning to his native village, his past resurfaces. Wherever his feet carry him, Senthil harvest an ample harvest of memories: those he loved most in the hidden recesses of his heart, those for loved ones.
Despite a scenario that could be relevant to the bidding tearful, the new film by Cheran does abyss never complacent. Closer to his hero, Cheran sign a work where classicism is never the enemy of the invention. Romantic relationships, and their preliminary close, represent the quintessence of his cinema. He carves love and melancholy as few filmmakers are able. Beautifully staged, Autograph recounts in four parts (the first love, university life, decay and finally through the blossoming friendship), physical and moral development of Senthil throughout its existence. A film crossed from one side of a melancholic breath, sumptuous and ripping, where it is mainly a question of learning to life for our young hero.
Each part is a chapter, and each chapter provides teaching, the rhythm of a naive fable. Inhabited by fierce energy and unspeakable sadness, Senthil advance, stumbles, gets up and finally saw. But the film not only recounts his story, he also designed the magnificent portrait of three women with very different fates and unfortunately similar to those of many Indian women. Kamala (Mallika), the young villager forced to quit school because his parents do not have the means and it's a girl. Lathika (Gopika) who suffers the pangs of forced marriage and finally Divya (Sneha), the modern Indian woman who is fighting for a just cause. The director gives them a profoundly moving texture while magnifying them as ephemeral traces of a versatile beauty.
Four parts, four different locations home village, Kerala, Coimbatore and Chennai Cheran had the genius to use for his film four different cinematographers. Embalmed by the delicate and melodious music of Bharadwaj (we will not soon forget the song Nyabagam Varudhe), each plan is a feast for the eyes. Every detail is sublime; each color, hypnotic. The filmmakers were careful to explore every facet, every wealth of landscapes and cities that Senthil crosses, and magnify them.
But this film would be nothing without the immense talent of the actors, comments can only be glowing. Starting with Cheran who has matured since his last film. He brings a lot of credibility and sensitivity to the character of Senthil. The actresses are the great revelation of the film, starting with Sneha, to the amazing game density, imaginative and generous. There is no doubt that with Autograph, she turned into a real stunt hopes worn in it. Gopika is delicious, determined and brings his talent to the part located in Kerala. Finally Mallika in his first film role, is imperial, charismatic, any restraint. As for the secondary characters, they are all wonderful and make the universe Senthil complex and moving.
Both melancholic and joyful, Autograph is a UFO, unique, one of the jewels of cinema this year. A goldsmith piece, returning to this cinema that today too often forgotten: the beauty and simplicity of feelings. Cry, smile, fall in love, moments magnified by Cheran. Each of us has a story and everyone can say: "Along my way ... one day ... I saw ..."
With this film he scripted, directed and produced, worn alone at arms, a simple artwork Cheran book, strong and truly universal, that appeals to the sensibility of every human being whether Tamil, Indian or Western . It deals with universal facts that everyone in all age groups experienced at least once in his life, and the film and is a real chord with the viewer. The disarming simplicity with which he speaks of things as deep and touching can not be ignored. It's a film that arouses so many emotions and revives so many memories that we can not help but be moved by this rite of passage, nostalgic.
The music tinged with melancholy completes all this, also touching a chord with the public. The theme song Nyabagam Varudhe that recurs throughout the film literally brings tears. It is used very apropos, and all songs are great even if we recognize that some are a bit superfluous. The photography is beautiful, it is noted that it varies according to place and time of the life of Senthil, giving an additional authenticity stamp.
The locations worth visiting, and no doubt many will want to go to Kerala after seeing the movie! Cheran in the lead role is very good, we doubt that many elements of the story are drawn from personal experience. As for the actresses all are exceptional. Special mention to the young Mallika, 15, who in the role of Kamala is overwhelming. It is for me a story that touched me the most. Had rarely been portrayed childlike love so as touching and touching, and she has a lot. Gopika in the role of a Malayali Lathika, lights up the screen. As for Sneha, it just touches in a story of friendship man / woman as has rarely seen such beautiful, illustrated by a lovely song. A history that extends beyond the film since Sneha has really accepted the role of friendship for Cheran, which it declined to pay.
In conclusion, Autograph is a rare film, a marvel of sensitivity and emotion, a film as we see little. Its totally about universal, its amazing music and interpretations that achieve excellence, all this definitely makes a cult film.
Autograph is more than a movie, it's a slice of life, that any Tamil and can even extend this to any individual, all nationalities and religions. A vision of this work one has the impression that Cheran has drawn inspiration from the life of each of us, so that any viewer can identify with Senthil played by Cheran himself who, disappointment disillusionment alternating with moments of happiness and emotion, advances in life while confronting it. The women he crosses paths at each stage of his life will bring him something and help the hard apprenticeship of life. This is exactly what will allow him to swim against the current while keeping hope. Hidden love, not passion, pure friendship, everything is there.
The director has an undeniable talent for communicating feelings and emotions through the camera, as the spectators attach easily to his characters, to the point of sharing their joys and sentences. The actors are all wonderful and they fully endorse their character, and each interprets his role with great accuracy and conviction.
Special mention to the young actress who plays Mallika Kamala, the first love of Senthil, very fresh in his first appearance in young teenager; when she reappears mother thirty years, she knows adopt a different game and did not hesitate to put on weight to match his character fifteen years later, even if his presence on the screen is brief. Mallika be commended for his professionalism and maturity it has shown, given his young age.
The photograph is neat, Senthil each stage of life is filmed in a different way. And for good reason: Cheran has chosen to use four different cameramen (for Nei Karam Pathi, Kerala, Chennai and Coimbatore) to have various viewpoints. Music, signed by Bharathwaj, contributes substantially to install the atmosphere of the film. As for the songs, some are vital and others have been added to meet the quota Kollywood (minimum five songs) and correspond to a commercial product masala .
Overall, Autograph is unforgettable and will mark you forever, both melancholy and nostalgia are present in each shot, a film carried by an overwhelming music and served by exceptional actors. It is also a fascinating experience that invites the viewer to return to the past and see the path it has traveled, like Senthil.