2023 / Tamil

Ninaivo Oru Paravai (2023)

Kumararaja’s Ninaivo Oru Paravai, part of the Modern Love Chennai anthology, takes you on an avant-garde trip down memory lane reminding you of Kaufman’s and Wong Kar Wai’s movies like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and 2046 respectively. And yet it has Kumararaja writ all over it, so much so that the lead character is a film director called K. Before you know it, you are so absorbed into his amnesiac world that you lose track of time and start creating your own interpretations and theories of what really must have transpired between the lead characters: K & Sam.

K & Sam. Who are they? New age lovers? Lovers at first sight? Eternal lovers? Is this true love or is it just the orgasmic sex? These are not the questions that’ll trouble you, rather these are the qualities that inherently define these starstruck lovers who enjoy everything from music, cigarettes, and sex to movie scripts, and UFOs in a dilapidated house that reeks of old world charm. How their memories become both their balm and their bane forms the essence of this mind tripping, modern love story.

Ilaiyaraaja adds an interesting and complex texture to this 70-minute short, with his compositions that sound so unlike the Maestro. I’ve never heard him like this before where the music does not accentuate the emotions but jerks you out of it giving you the freedom to pick your own. And I say this in a good way.

Poster Design: Gopi Prasanna

Gopi Prasanna’s presence in the Production Design is invisible, yet unmistakable. He plays around with light, shadow, objects, artwork, and miniatures creating an ambience that has now become Kumararaja’s trademark. 

But the masterstroke comes by Kumararaja himself when you slowly realize that this might be his most autobiographical and finest movie till date. So self-aware, so meta, and so intricate. Like memories, which are nothing but our mind extrapolating and fictionalizing small, irrelevant, existential events into favorable happy events.

Streaming on Amazon Prime.


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