Director: Karthik Subburaj
Navarasa, an anthology of 9 emotions, created by Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan has brought together 9 directors and a bunch of popular actors to convey 9 stories. While it is a great way to convey 9 stories with the performances of brilliant actors, not all the movies hit the mark we expected.
The 5th episode revolved around the Shanthi Rasa or emotion of Peace. Directed by Karthik Subburaj, this episode is set in Srilanka where Master (Gautham Menon), Nilavan (Simha) and Cheran (Sanath) play LTTE men who are safe-guarding the front-line of a battle torn territory. A young boy runs without worrying about dying, across the battlefield when Nilavan stops him. When asked why, the boy says that he wants to save his brother whom he locked in his house. How Nilavan steps up and saves that boy’s brother forms the rest of the story.
Nilavan saving the young boy as he runs across the battle-torn field
Although it does not dive very deep into the Eelam struggle, Karthik managed to convey its essence through this episode. Surely, he did greater justice to the Srilankan storyline than his portrayal of the same in Jagame Thandhiram.
The episode entirely runs on emotions such as love, guilt, redemption, sacrifice, gratitude, etc. and not much on the story itself. Nilavan is in for a shock when he goes to save the brother, but does so even after being misinformed. The shots where Nilavan runs across the battle-field to reach the little boy’s house are wonderfully taken.
The problem with the story however is that we really wonder how it portrays peace. The episode ends with a card saying ‘Peace?’ which does not do poetic justice to the idea of Shanthi. At the same time, both Gautham Menon and Bobby Simha did not have a great chance at utilising their full potential.
Towards the end of the episode, the story takes an expected by unhappy turn which makes us wonder what emotion should indeed be felt. Apart from the fact that it did not convey the emotion of Peace, this episode did was a pretty good one to watch, especially for its screenplay and shots.
Nilavan in hiding after being shot on his rescue mission
The Srilankan accent spoken by both actors is a little flawed because there is no consistency in it. Also, until and unless the audience is familiar with the Srilankan Tamil issue, it is really difficult to empathise with the leads in the story. On the whole, Karthik’s Peace was a good story of emotions to watch, but confused its audience with its portrayal of Peace!
Check out the detailed Navarasa review here!