Radio Petti (ரேடியோ பேட்டி) by Director Hari Viswanath was screened today in 13th Chennai International Film Festival to a packed audience in Russian Cultural Centre. Though it’s a Tamil film it is being screened for the first time in Tamil Nadu only today. The 83 minutes film has won many accolades in other film festivals including Korean Busan Film Festival and Goa Film Festival. The film is about an elderly couple played by stage actor Lakshmanan and Shobana Mohan, who are left behind by their son. The old man treasures a valve radio set inherited from his father, but his son unable to understand the importance of the radio smashes it in a rage. How the couple continue to live their life in dignity going about their day to day routine on their own terms is rest of the story.
The dialogues though few and far are penned aptly, two dialogues linger in my mind; One where the mother asks his son (who had come to take her with him leaving behind the father) “உன் வீட்டில வேலக்காரி வரலியா?” (Has your servant maid not been coming to your house), second when the Doctor scolds the son “அவர், உங்க அப்பா தானே?” (Isn’t he your father?) after the son labels his father “mad” on knowing him to be having Musical ear syndrome. Actor Lakshmanan has brought to life the character, his subtle acting was brilliant. I enjoyed the scene where he turns his ear lobes (pretending) to be the tuning action for changing radio stations. The selection of Pondicherry with it’s European vintage look as the place for the story adds a feeling of melancholy in the background enhancing our viewing experience. Actor TVV Ramanujam has played well the supporting role as a friend and colleague to the old man.
Films like this are the true slice of everyday life of people living in Tamil Nadu today.
Trailer can be seen below: