Hridayam ~ Life Seeks Life
Star Cast: Pranav Mohanlal, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Darshana Rajendran, Vijayaraghavan, Johny Antony, Aju Varghese, and Arun Kuria..
Music Composed by Hesham Abdul Wahab
Directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan
Produced by Visakh Subramaniam
What makes you – YOU?
When we face this question, we try to answer with all the knowledge we have acquired to sound as philosophical, as intelligent, as noble, and as grown-up as we can. But the truth is Life flows and asks you to flow through and learn from everything that happens around you. As you learn, you can become Krishna or you can end up as Shakuni. Both of them understood human psychology better than any other character we come across in mythology and they used every possible “Trick” in the book to get their way. One did it to establish order and the other used it to bring chaos into the lives of his people. If we dive deep into human psychology, then both of them reside within us. We destroy ourselves and push ourselves into chaos so much that when we grow up, we look like Krishna – The Ultimate Guru to at least our close ones. If someone doesn’t see us like that or use our knowledge or if we still stay away from every chaos and run away from every occasion to put the fires out, then there is a problem within us. We need to solve it to come out of it and live life. Hence, Life Seeks Life.
Elaborating in Film’s context… (Spoiler Warning – if you like to not read anything that film has to offer and just watch and know, then book a ticket and watch the movie please and come back here to discuss, if you wish to!) … Life of Arun Neelakandan (Pranav Mohanlal) has been easy and things have been offered to him on a platter by his loving parents until he joined KC Tech for completing Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chennai. How can we say this? Telling this here, as the film just subtlely touches on it but doesn’t elaborate. He is a doer. His attitude doesn’t allow him to make adjustments unless he is comfortable with it. His father treats him as an adult, his mother doesn’t talk to him about his life choices as he prefers to silence her than listen to her like an obedient child. When you look at the scenes created between the mother and him or his family, we can easily relate. As it is most of the middle class and well-to-do boys attitude. We suddenly feel more free and adult as we enter into college. Arun is the same but his first encounter with life is Love.
He awakes Krishna inside him and tries to identify his Radha in Darshana. Here, the heroine is introduced upside down. A sweet touch to her character arc as her life is going to go upside down as a hero who is still a kid views her in upside-down condition. He doesn’t really understand love, but he feels the rush of adrenaline to talk to her and be with her. As Krishna is awakened, he is able to impress her by being straightforward about what he wishes from her and as she feels the same for him, she reciprocates. Here Krishna gives away to Shakuni, at the first test, the trust and loyalty test. If he loses it, then he will lose everything that he dreams about. But his adrenaline rush pushes him to become Shakuni and introduce chaos into a smooth sail. Vineeth crafts a more bold heroine in this film, which reflects today’s woman better, and kudos to him. Don’t miss the “Fuck **F” scene.
Shakuni traps him and pushes him into a mess. He loses control of his life, roams aimlessly, and starts to become someone that he hates. The first time he saw senior ragging him, he tries to disobey them immediately and prove his authority on them. When he becomes a senior, he becomes another authoritarian – the kind that he hates, the kind that is unsure about themselves and needs someone to be their slaves. He is a kind, talented person with a charm of his own hence people find him fascinating but he switches on self-destruct mode and the same people show sympathy or hate him. This mess of his creates another demon in similarly charming and passionate Darshana. More on her chaos, please keep reading further for us to touch on her topic. Our charming rebel has turned into a monster that he hates as well. He did not leave his friends or their room, he ran away from his own Shakuni who is plotting for a bigger war within. He realized it faster and hence, cleans his mess (literally!) all by himself.
Arun transformed into Arjun and started searching for his own Krishna, outside him. He found Selva Sounderrajan and Arun as his name suggests started shinning bright. This time life wanted to test his adaptability and perseverance. Selva could motivate him so much that Arun perceived the route laid by Selva to better himself. For a brief period, he turned helpful to his friends too. From asking people to help him out he became a person who can take a subject and explain. He adapted to new life and changed his path that is headed to failure, unhappiness. His change solidified into a transformation as Darshana also forgave him. He learned how to earn trust, how to stand for what he wants, how to not lose sight of a bigger picture when life tests with easy route opportunities and he learnt how to work on his flaws. Still, he has no clue about the future and that leaves him with many doubts. Darshana has her own doubt and more on her later.
As Arun woke up Krishna in him, thanks to Selva, Shakuni couldn’t find a way to come out. Hence his journey to find a purpose for himself started. He identified that he is good at capturing moments and has an eye for anticipating special reactions. This made him into a photographer and the entry of Nithya allowed him to grow up in life from a bachelor with ideas to a husband with responsibilities. Nithya understands him and has a heart, mind of her own. She is a well-defined self-sufficient beautiful and happy person that Arun needed at that time. She found him to be a fascinating and additional flavour to her life which is slightly boring. Her journey with him started with trust rather than an adrenaline rush’s push. Unlike Darshana and Maya, she offered him a more mature yet naughty partner whose necessity in life is to Just Live it. Hence, he became such a mature and supportive person that Darshana who once gave him the advice to find his calling, turned to him for advice.
So what happened to Darshna? The moment Arun laid eyes on her and she saw him, her life turned upside down. How? She lost confidence as she felt the pain of mistrust. The person who seemed charming, innocent, and lively, a person her life can depend on, decided to cheat on her. Now, some other person might have asked him to explain himself and after the initial disappointment, might have given him another chance. But she felt the pain, rightly so, like a tight slap to her trusting nature. She tried to overcorrect it by making him jealous and he reciprocated similarly. She couldn’t take it and took another wrong decision – trusted a really bad person. While Arun proves to her that his mistake is different from what she perceives it to be, she has a problem of overthinking, and that adds fuel to her insecurities. Finally, she became a person who finds solace in running away from the place that gave her heartbreak.
Unknowingly, she arose Shakuni inside her, and Krishna or to be specific Radha inside her went into a deep slumber. Hoping against hope to reconcile with her first love, she stopped moving forward in life. While she earned huge, she became successful, she still turned into a self-destructive person. Hence, she needed her Krishna to tell her one final time that she has Radha inside her and her life will also offer her, “This is IT” and “this is my Life” moment especially for her. See, how the person who awoke Shakuni inside her showed her mirror to become Radha that she truly is.
Hridayam is a film that captures moments of life. It is about a young man who lost his wayfinding it and then correcting himself. He corrected his small mistakes like ignoring health, ignoring parents, living aimlessly, wasting time, and turning into someone he hated by apologizing to Joe and by owning up to his problems. He could see that Nithya is mature enough to understand that he needs to talk to Darshana and help her before her marriage, even without him trying to state it out. The movie is filled with moments like these that will relate to you at one point or another. Music by Hesham Abdul Wahab helps Vineeth Sreenivasan – writer and director, to craft a musical screenplay. He could cut and include scenes into songs, giving true meaning to OST. The entire background score and album need to be appreciated. Hesham worked towards creating magic like he doesn’t get another opportunity ever.
To state it out, Hridayam is a film that will arrest you with its craft and asks you to bow down to the art that movie making is. Pranav Mohan Lal showed so much security in his performance that we can say that we won’t miss Mohan Lal after the great actor’s retirement. Still, a long way to go but Pranav has a promise. Kalyani Priyadarshan shines with a more lively character and it looks like she really gave it all. Darshana Rajendra just walked into the character as she owns it. All performances should be appreciated. In this film, the director and narrator in Vineeth showed maturity as well. He did not fear taking risks like letting moments last a second more and giving the story a balance by creating more moments and fewer characters. He did not rely on dialogues like in Jacobinte Swaragarajyam (Full Review) and did not rely on frames only like in Thattathin Marayattu. He found a balance and his strength. On the whole, we can say that by narrating a tale about life and understanding that Life seeks Life itself, Vineeth found his voice or his Heart for viewers to really appreciate it.
As Heart seeks what Heart wants, giving this movie rating that I stopped for several reasons all these years. Let’s see which movie next will inspire me to do so.
Survi Rating: 3.5/5 (0.5 extra for craft and craftsmen that constructed this Heart with their hearts in these pandemic times).