1947 A Love Story…What a love story it is! …exquisitely crafted, splendidly structured and beautifully narrated. A tragic story of unfulfilled love that almost brought the Theatre of Dionysus alive! The story swings with the pendulum of time between the ecstasy of hope and the agony of despair.
A love story between a dobhi and a dorasani, between a rustic illiterate Indian and a blue blooded beauty of the English elite, that too in the times of the British rule in India, appear farfetched at first look. But, then the film makes it totally plausible as the frames roll on. Has the story been taken from an unread page of history? Has it really happened? The fiction was woven with such authenticity that you would conclude – It must have happened.
The film opens in the present times, when a septuagenarian widow Mrs. Smith (Carole Trangmar-Palmer) in London wants to go to Madras in India. She arrives in Chennai along with her grand daughter Catherine (Lisa Lazarus). She wants to meet Malli who was young man in 1947. She takes the help of a guide to locate Malli, who must be an octogenarian now.
Cut back to June 18, 1945. Amy Wilkinson (Amy Jackson) arrives in Madras (then Madrasupattinam). She is the daughter of Madras Presidency Governor (Jack James). She was to be engaged to the commissioner of police Robert Ellis (Alexx O’Nell). She hates him. She gets a translater Pandu (Cochin Hanifa) to help her find her way around.
There is a washer man village on the banks of Cooum river. The British want to take over that village to build a golf course. Malli (Arya) is also a dobhi and learns wrestling from his guru (Nazar). The washer men oppose the take over of the village. Events transpire to make Amy meet Malli, who also takes her on a sight seeing tour of Madras. At the intervention of Amy, the village is spared from being converted into a golf course. Little things make Amy and Malli come closer. There is the vile Ellis to contend with. And India is on the verge of getting Independence on August 15, 1947. The British rulers, including Amy, have to leave India.
Will the love of Amy and Malli be fulfilled? Will she leave India? Answers to these questions take us to the pre-climax lead.
Back to the present, Mrs Smith is Amy Wilkinson herself. She wants to locate Malli and hand him back the thali he has given her. Will she be able to meet Malli? Shouldn’t a film that opens with a coffin in view has to end in a cemetery?
Amy Jackson is angelic in her beauty and like a fairy in her demeanour. She performs with great natural ease for a debutante. Her expressions appeal to your core sense of appreciation. Arya is restrained and perfectly skips under the skin of his difficult character. He is energetic when required and as still as the serene pond when rippled. Carole Trangmar-Palmer as the aged Amy mystifyingly gives us the impression that she is actually the aged Amy Jackson and not Amy Wilkinson. She does her role extremely well. Alexx O’Nell as the wicked police officer lives his role. Jack James carries himself with dignity as required of a governor. Nassar is his usual self. Cochin Hanifa is convincing and very funny. All others immaculately fit their author-backed roles.
Director ALVijay has come out with a simple story but with intricately braided events encompassing two different spans of time. His delineation of the principal characters is painstakingly diligent to the minutest details. You have no choice but empathise with the role players. His adroit screenplay swings between 1947 and 2011 like an astounding trapeze display with marvelous precision and delicate. balance. It has such a grip on the flow of the film that you sit glued to the screen. Music by GV Prakash Kumar enlivens the proceedings and creates the right moods for the critical scenes. Dialogues by Shashank are meaningful and devoid of the taste of translation. The art director creates authentic period ambience. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is breathtaking and his use of light and shade enhances the visual appeal. Editing by Anthony is crisp and boosts the momentum of narration. Sound design is most appropriate. Production values are decently high.
1947 A Love story is a Cinderella-esque celluloid creation where the story of love, between two impossible protagonists at the most improbable period of time, is dealt with extraordinary finesse and stupendous sensitivity.
Director Vijay’s cinematic idioms and metaphors – the lonely boat in river Cooum, ringing of the tram bell, the joy of the country’s freedom constraining the freedom of the lovers, the wrestling match between Malli and Ellis, the lovers hideout in the clock tower, the rustic fear of airplanes and the railway platform symbolic of journeys missed – appeal to your emotional intelligence.
You will experience a candid catharsis while watching the audio visual artistry and the wizardry of the performers.
Do not miss to watch this splendidly serenaded cinematic creation.
The Cast and Crew
Arya, Amy Jackson, Lisa Lazarus, Cochin Hanifa, Jack James, Alexx O’Nell, Nassar, Balaji, MS Bhaskar, Bala Singh and others
Music : G. V. Prakash Kumar
Cinematography : Nirav Shah
Editing : Anthony Gonsalvez
Producer : Kalpathi S. Aghoram
Telugu version : Multi Dimension Entertainments Pvt Ltd
Written and Directed by A. L. Vijay
4 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar
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