I saw after two years of its release Director Selvaraghavan’s 2013 film Irandaam Ulagam (இரண்டாம் உலகம்). When I first heard the title I thought it will be based on Mike Cahill’s Another Earth (2011), but Irandaam Ulagam turned out to be different. If you were to search for inspiration you need to go to Sci-Fi works like Star Trek. Irandaam Ulagam is about two love stories of two couples who live in the world’s (literally) apart.
The film is all out about Arya & Anushka, both have performed as one of the demanding characters of their career. Though Arya comes out the same on both the planets, Anushka has tried to show subtle differences between the characters. The pair has done numerous sword fighting sequences expertly.
The first couple Madhu Balakrishnan (played by Arya) a researcher and Ramya (Anushka Shetty) a doctor, both living on our planet Earth. Selvaraghavan is at his best showing the love between Madhu & Ramya, Ramya impressed by Madhu’s good heart proposes to him and gets snubbed by him. Madhu changes to the heart fall in love with Ramya and win her back; the incidents in that Goa medical camp is enjoyable, again the touch of the Director visible in every frame. The lady who plays the role of Ramya’s friend has done a good job. Madhu’s background story about his father was on expected lines, similar was the breaking of Ramya’s arranged me, these disappointed me.
The second couple is Maravan (Arya) son of a nobleman, Varna (Anushka) an orphan on a Planet that mistreats women. The planet’s goddess “Amma” decides to introduce Love to people who haven’t felt it before, when we first hear this we anticipate powerful storytelling around this idea, but we are left disenchanted as the story unfolds. Maravan keeps fighting endlessly, similarly, keep trying in vain to win Varna’s heart; after a few iterations, the sequences being the same become stale. While this is happening, for reasons not convincing enough to me, Madhu from Planet Earth ends up on this planet through an inter-planet portal. When everything gets resolved for good on the second Planet, Madhu once again lands on another new Planet meeting an avatar of Anushka on that planet. I wanted to scream, Why, Why Mr Selvaraghavan, what were you thinking?
Throughout the film, the hard work that the team behind should have put in to make it is unmistakably felt. Selvaraghavan has created a mythical “new” world complete with races, beasts that fly and rituals, not something you see every day, as a writer he shines here. Overall Irandaam Ulagam has all the right ingredients – different story, lot of effort, brilliant performances but unfortunately falls short.
The full movie was available for free from Vijay TV on YouTube here.