Friday after Friday, movies grace our theatres about people and their destinations; it is not uncommon for our heroes and their ladies to travel from one place to another, often within the period of micro-seconds where they are seen romancing with the invigorating fruits of Mother Nature (read as duets filmed in Switzerland).
But it is not often that movie deals with the journey rather than the destinations. Road/travel movie is not a new concept in Indian cinema but it is usually peppered with erratic characters usually with audacious accents to denote their place of origin. The open-armed welcome to Director M Saravanan’s Engeyum Eppodum(EE), I believe is because of the simple reality in its characters and a fresh approach at story-telling.
In recent times, there has been a rural vs. urban debate in the circles of Tamil Cinema, while movies which are shot in the violent heartland have had the good fortune as having been hailed as classics, the urban Chennai cinema had come down to the level of patronizing bars and cigarette brands and more importantly bubble-gum college romance.
EE might just be that movie, which could bridge the rural-urban divide because it has both in considerable good portions lead by solid actors who look the part right from the person who thinks he oversleeps and wakes up every time the bus stops to the four protagonists who are in love. Requests and irritations faced by day to day travelers are picturized with adequate wit and it was happy that the film did not venture into Madhur Bhandarkarisms by showing the underbelly of public transport even though it had ample opportunities. But EE is not just about the bus drive but also the loves of the four people concerned, here Ananya scores as the engineering student from a town who comes in search of employment in the big bad city, innocent and cautious; her eyes offers very little space for her urban counterpart played by Sharvanand. While on the other side of the highway exist a dominating no-nonsense Anjali and the shy machine worker essayed by Jai. On both accounts it is the softer characters who take away the applause.
The film begins at two different bus stations and ends sadly in a hospital with a pivotal accident that turns around the story in the middle of the journey on the highway, lending credibility to the title Engeyum Eppodum i.e anyplace anytime. Delving deep one may say that the two major themes in the film: love & death being unpredictable can happen, anyplace and anytime;the applicability of life itself .
Although not without blemish, like the change in mood towards the end and the abrupt ending; these things can be overlooked for the overall greater good and lighthearted showcase of everyday life and travel. EE is a good film and a promising debut indeed, for director and the producer.
Watch the trailer here