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{mosimage}It is a beautiful movie that breathed a fresh whiff of confidence into the Tamil movies when it was suffocating with regressive "thaali" sentiments and woman as doormats. Balu Mahendra remade the Hindi classic "Arth" after 12 years of its theatrical release, this time he acknowledged the source also (Balu gets his "inspiration" from the Hollywood movies but never acknowledges it) in the opening credits.
It is about the life of Thulasi (Revathy), who suddenly finds her world coming into screeching halt when her husband's extra marital affair with an actress throws spanner in the otherwise smoothly rolling life wheels. Her husband Ravi admits having an affair with the top heroine Kavitha (Rohini) who happens to be suffering from the mental instability. Thulasi being highly self respective walks out of his life and restarts her life (which leads to the title of this movie - Marupadiyum (Again)) with help of Raj (Aravindswamy), realising the meaning of her existence.

The movie tend to be realistic reducing the drama to the level extent. The parallel track of Thulasi's servant maid Kuppamma (played superbly by "Pasi" Sathya) who also has a similiar problem not only shows the existence of extra marital affairs in different strata of life and how the reactions vary according to the economical status and financial independence. Kuppamma is well aware of her husband's affair yet she supports him, but when Thulasi gets to know the existence of another woman in her life, she walks out of the marriage. Atlast when things go out of the hand, Thulasi signs the divorce papers, but Kuppamma who is not sophisticated kills her husband and ends up in jail.

It is a world class movie with restrained yet commendable perfomances by everyone associated with this movie, either it be Revathy, Rohini, Ravi or even Aravindswamy for whom Marupadiyum happened to be the third movie. Revathy as lead protagonist Thulasi, performing the role with a style is not something unusual but Rohini who was then dabbling supporting roles and as a dubbing artiste was a revelation in this movie as the other woman & actress Kavitha. Especially in the scene where she meets Revathy face to face, she slips to the hallucination and gets back to reality at a single shot shows her tremendous mastery over the acting skills.
{mosimage}Revathy was mindblowing in the scene where she drinks and bursts out nastily in public when she sees her husband cozying with the other woman. She was stunning & ferocious in her arguements where out of anger she bursts into "Antha they.." then controlling her anger and addressing Rohini with her name. With this movie Revathy created a record by bagging two Filmfare awards in Tamil & Telugu in the same year (1992) for her movies - Marupadiyum & Angooram (Telugu)
Nobody else Aravindswamy in Tamil Industry would have lent that dignity to the role of another man in Thulasi's life. His efforts to put smile in Thulasi's face, providing her moral support at the times of distress, this man is simply mind boggling. I loved the way he expresses his love to Revathy, all of a sudden without letting the opportunity go out of his hands and the scene he surprises Revathy with an appointment letter.

On the downside that the movie is pretty predictable towards the end. May be the movie had been released today it would have got a different ending. But the best part of this movie is the positive attitude that oozes through the characters of Thulasi and Kuppamma. Their emotional travel of becoming strong souls from meek and submissive ones is well etched.

{mosimage}Balu Mahendra being an editor and cinematographer himself, has zeroed in the correct ambience for the story. Balu Mahendra has a penchant for dusky dasmels, deglamorising his artistes and shooting in realistic locations.

{mosimage}Illayaraja - another soul without whom the movie wouldn't have created the impact. All the songs were situational and soulful. "Ellorum sollum paattu.." is "THE" masterpiece according to me, while "Nalam vaazha..." is wonderful. "Aasai adhikam vacch.." provided the glamour quotient to the movie while the base voice rendered slow number "Nallathor veenai seithey..." is stunning. As told in my previous blog, the songs are not only my personal favourite, but something that I took close to my heart. In the original audio cassette they had added the background scores also which really moves the audience. Nobody can challenge Illayraja in the background score department.

On the whole, this is a movie that is carved in my mind forever. It has been years and years I have seen this movie, but I still remember every shot and scene. It is said a bio-pic of its "Arth" director Mahesh Bhatt, about his affair with actress Parveen Bhabi, who also suffered and died recently of mental disorder & loneliness. It is the movie that brings me immense strength whenever there is a break up / parting with the people I liked the most.