Mupparimanam is a wonderful Tamil word that means three dimensions, or three views, three perspectives. It’s a pity that the word is wasted on a film with just one perspective, one idea. The basic, underlying idea for the film – the one-line script is – Women cheat. Women lie.
Mupparimanam, debutante director Adhiroopan’s film, is almost entirely what every comment, every reply, every “what about” that hits anyone daring to make a statement about women and their position in society. It is, in short, a film made for, by, and addressed to Men’s Rights Activists – MRAs.
The film stars Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and Srushti Dange, with performances from Thambi Ramiah, Skanda Ashok, and others. A dozen stars and actors – including Bhagyaraj, Jackie Shroff, Radhikaa Sarathkumar, Ramya Krishnan, Arya, Prasanna, and others from across the spectrum – all come together for a dance number.
One of the biggest issues in any debate, discussion on gender and women’s rights on the Internet is, the rather large accommodation one has to make for men. Every time there’s a story of violence against women – rape, sexual harassment at the workplace, gaslighting, stalking – there will be a large contingent of sincere men and women asking, “But what about the men?”
While it is true that men, too, are subjected to sexual abuse and violence, a discussion – a statement – on women’s rights is not the best place to discuss that. However, there it is.
Every conference and panel discussion on feminism has at least one sincere member of the audience asking, “What space does feminism have, for men?”
Every instance of rape, sexual violence, is footnoted with a – “but what about false accusations that hurt a man’s life?”
The din surrounding the subject often threatens to drown out the core message.
Mupparimanam takes the din, and turns it into a 2 hour 21 minute motion picture that, at its least problematic, gives its audience the wrong ideas about what “sincere” love is. It is a film that allows every creepy man who “sincerely” loves a woman to feel good about his own intense emotions of love, and his callous, violent, abusive treatment of the women he encounters. Sure enough, in the theatre, a group of young men were discussing their own love lives, and repeating Kamal Haasan’s line from Sigappu Rojakkal “Indha ponnungala ippadi thaan” (These women are all like this only).
Young Kathir – Shanthanu – is in love with young Anusha – Shrishti, but there’s of course a problem. In a flashback, we see Anusha’s uncle – her father’s brother – murder his own sister and her lover, for crossing caste boundaries and “bringing shame on the family”. As a result, Kathir’s father – a policeman – puts the murdering brother in jail. Perfect set up. Enough fodder for a dozen Tamil cinemas in which the hero and heroine need to overcome all odds to unite.
But it is not that simple in this film. Adhiroopan, the director and writer of the film, sets up complex layers – and in the process conveys that women – inherently – are evil.
There must be a moratorium, please, on films in which the lead actress is in school, while the hero isn’t. Even in Class XII, given our education system – K12 – the average student is barely 17 years old.
Shrishti Dange – as Anusha, goes from happy-go-lucky school girl, to evil college girl out to destroy good, sincere men because she gets a bit too greedy for a “good life”. However, thanks to the writer-director’s world view, we at least get to see one female lead who isn’t just a “bubbly village” girl and has more screen time than most actresses get these days.
It is to Shrishti’s credit that she is able to manage being both the cheerful lover for Kathir, and evil plotting girl for herself, with relative ease.
Shanthanu Bhagyaraj gets his registers correct. He is the classic city-bred young man in love with the village girl for most of the first half of the film, and some sort of hulking angry young man for most of the second half. It’s the kind of role that every film hero does at least once in their life. And so, while competent and solid a performance, it is – a little banal.
Mupparimanam unfolds in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu and Allepey, Kerala. The Western Ghats and the beautiful, beautiful landscape, pristine rivers, and unending green – are perhaps the best parts of the film. At least for me.
The Mupparimanam review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.