Past Forward: Mozhi (Language)
Movie conversations by Samuel Thambusamy
I had missed Mozhi (Language) in the theaters since I was a traveling a way bit more than the usual. I had read the reviews and felt very sad that I had missed the movie. I was pleasantly surprised to find the DVD at Landmark. I never expected to find it this early and that too for (a throwaway price of ) Rs 34/- So, I grabbed it immediately. Mozhi is a brilliant film and brings many issues of urban India to the fore. I liked the director’s deft handling of ‘disability’. He has done it with such sensitivity that you don’t find in the run-off-the-mill Indian films. Disability is portrayed not to evoke sympathy but rather to inspire the audience to live life with dignity.
The film is about Archana who can’t speak, who does not want to speak and who has nothing to tell the world. It is not just ‘disability’ but also an inbuilt disgust for the world around her – that has disowned her. She builds walls around her and enjoys the tranquility of loneliness. Karthik, a young musician, falls in love with her and learns to appreciate her world of silence. Of course, he’s had to ‘unlearn’ lots to get into her word and win her confidence. Sheela (Archana’s close friend) and Viji (Karthik’s close friend) are co-travelers in this journey.
Archana and Sheela teach us precious lessons about attitudes towards life. We, like Karthik and Viji learn lessons.
Karthik: Archana explained her situation to me with so much of dignity and self-respect. I could see her belief in life, beyond her handicap. Today, I saw the same thing in Sheela
Viji: They are younger than us, but we have so much to learn from them
Where Archana falters, Karthik steps in. Won’t life be a lot more better if we all learn from one another. This is a film you won’t want to miss. Enter the inner world of ‘broken-world’ people and see what you can learn from them! Go! Grab a copy (No problem if you can’t understand Tamil you’ve got English subtitles).
Movie Conversations (by Samuel Thambusamy)
1. What is this film about? Is it about ‘social concern’ or is it about ‘relationships’?
2. The film shows different reasons why people fall in love a) infatuation b) mother fixation (Karthik) c) Admiration (Viji). Why do you think people fall in love?
3. Prof. Gnana Prakash, Archana and Sheela are broken world people. How did you feel after you heard their personal stories? Would you agree with Viji’s comment/s:
“ Sometimes I feel God is cruel”
” Everyone seems to have a sad past – the professor, Archana and Sheela. I guess that’s how life is”
4. How did you feel when Karthik falls in love even after he knows that Archana can speak only the language of silence?
5. Do you know people who are scared about marriage? Why are people scared about marriage? What are your views about people who are scared about marriage?
6. Cinema Social responsibility: Would Karthik have contributed money to the Care foundation if he wasn’t in love with Archana? Do you think he was doing this to impress Archana or did he share a concern with Care foundation?
7. Prof. Gnana Prakash was imprisoned in the past due to a tragedy. Sheela was reactive because of a personal tragedy. Personal tragedies leave a chip in our shoulders. How do we deal with the chip in our shoulder?
8. Karthik was compassionate towards the Prof. Gnana Prakash. He was willing to help Archana’s family. But, he was extremely mean towards Mr. Anantha Krishnan (The flat owners association president). Why do you think this was so? Why are we so kind to some people and so mean to others?
9. Why was it easier for Viji to talk about his love and marriage proposal to Sheela? Why do you think it was difficult for Karthik to talk about his love and marriage to Archana? Which approach would you take?
1o. Did you like the movie? The movie does not use commercial elements such as: ‘item girls’, ‘shin-show’ and vulgar jokes etc. Why do you think it was a huge commercial hit? In what other points does the movie depart from the run-of-the-mill Tamil movies?