After watching Sufiyum Sujathayum, i was wondering why I was not even the least bit affected by the story, rather i was so impatient that i fast forwarded (gasp!) some of the scenes. Having given some thought to this, i wanted to make a treatise on the “The perfect love story”.
The word mystical and magical was used in many reviews. Intellectually you know that is what the makers are aiming for, right from the first scene with all the filters and the meticulous colour coordination (the greens, the browns and the earthy reds) and the stirring sufi music. But at no point of time did I ever feel the love between the two characters.
Of course, it will be very easy to blame the format for the loss of magic. This movie was meant to release in theatres but was released in OTT platform. I am a strong believer that some movies are meant for the theatres. So, was that the reason? Lost in translation; or rather medium?
All this reminded me of another movie which I had first watched in OTT and was still blown away. Mayaanadhi. When watching Mayaanadhi I used earphones and I distinctly remember how the music had enveloped me. So I had made sure to be undisturbed and use my earphones for SS, but to no avail. Soon after watching SS, I rewatched Mayaanadhi (maybe for the third time…?). I was hooked from beginning to end and didn’t not forward anything even though this is not the first time I am watching.
So what is the difference?
I guess the difference is that the internal struggle which the characters went through was not at all elaborated. Now then, all the beginnings of the struggles are all there… But it just remains like scraps of paper in the wind… no direction, no destination.
As far as I have seen, every love story has three conflicts. One is the personal or family conflict of the girl, then the personal / family conflict of the boy and third the conflict that arises between this boy and girl as a result of their own personal conflicts.
In Mayaanadhi, it is very well define. The girl is a struggling actress having confidence issues, because of which her closest relations are easily able to manipulate her. The boy is a loner, immature and has just committed murder. And all this contributes to the trust issues between them. But it is not just getting these things right. When you see Mathan and Appu, nobody can deny the love that is between them. The moments add up.
Contrarily, at no point in SS, did I feel the love between the characters, nor the conflict. Does her inability to speak pose a problem? But everyone seems to perfectly understand her. Does he being a travelling saint cause friction? But that doesn’t stop him from waiting for her. Are they conflicted about being from two different religions? But they don’t seem to be affected by that nor seem to be remotely worried about their loved ones reactions until they react… What was the intention of saying Sujatha will start speaking when the Naaval tree bears fruits? Is it because that will be the first time in her life she asserts herself to get what she wants i.e. to see her Sufi for the last time?
What was depicted only seemed to be like a teenage infatuation, a fascination felt towards a mysterious person – a person who has a captivating voice and able to perform the mystical dervish. Everybody seems to be attracted to him. But what was his attraction towards her? Because of this lack of depth here, I am unable to empathise with Sujatha for putting her husband through an emotional wringer. And Jayasuriya seems to be playing just two notes throughout the movie – emotionally lost and perpetually irritated.
This incoherent rendition of “The Perfect Love Story” has made Sufiyum Sujatha only a series of technically skilled frames and falls short from being a soul touching Sufi music it set out to be.