Taramani (2017) by Director Ram was a film that has been in making for a few years now, much anticipated as a result. It is supposed to be about the story of people living in the IT hub of Chennai – OMR & Taramani area.
The first scene we see is a vast green cover with plenty of water bodies; you hear Director Ram‘s voice over introducing the area to be Taramani in Chennai of yesteryears. This sets the tone of the film, the voiceovers continue throughout the film which Director Ram says is analogous to a status updates in social media. Let me give you an example of one such update – Thieves are those who steal from you; Police are those who steal from thieves; Hospitals are those who steal both from thieves and police without any reservation. Another example is a statutory warning message like the one which says Whatsapp messages and flirts can be dangerous.
On a rainy day, Andrea Jeremiah takes shelter in a dilapidated bus stand where she encounters a stranger – who is debutant Vasanth Ravi. The stranger narrates his failed love story. On the following days and months, Andrea and Vasanth fall in love, start living together and then break up. In between this, we pass by multiple social evils from Sexual Harassment of Women in the workplace, indiscriminate destruction of water bodies, flirting that can be life-threatening, Indo-Sri Lanka Fisherman arrests, Demonetization and Transgender rights. Where the Director has succeeded is by having an underlying love-thread that keeps it all going and watchable.
The attention to detail by Director is noticeable throughout the film – in the casting of the young boy who has a resemblance to his father; the house that Andrea rents out from her friend is shown unkempt and sparingly furnished; the living quarters of the Railway policeman; and so on. Background score by Yuvan Shankar Raja (who happened to be seeing the film with his family few rows behind me in Luxe Cinemas) is a plus for the film. Both Andrea and Vasanth have done their roles perfectly.
I would’ve enjoyed the film more if the editor had trimmed the film by about 20 minutes in the second half. Otherwise, Taramani is a good watch to understand the contemporary youth in Chennai.