We see two people who don’t seem to be happy in each other’s company in various occasions. One mistreats and the other one succumbs to that treatment. We also see the same two people who seem to be intoxicated with each other on many instants too. This is known as a third perspective or a third person’s opinion who has no power to impact how the 2 of them live their life together. A third set of eyes pinpoints which is wrong and which is right. But the question to be asked here is, Does love function on such opinions that are not belonged to the very people who are in love?
The recent agitation over Arjun Reddy (2017) made people to talk about toxicity in love relationships. It became a heated discussion and people took sides on how it’s wrong to mistreat the people we love in the name of love, few tried to justify the toxicity, a few others blamed the bad influence that cinema had been causing in the society. Kaatru Veliyidai (2017) comes in the same category of exploring a toxic relationship but not bashed for the way it is. And there is a reason for the same. It is because the aggressiveness and the timidity of the protagonists are well-explored in Arjun Reddy unlike in Kaatru Veliyidai, which leaves you with uncertainty. The uncontainable love and the rage is not convincing enough in Kaatru Veliyidai.
To give Kaatru Veliyidai the benefit of the doubt it deserves, lets look at the character exploration by brushing aside the bothering uncertainty. Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) doesn’t feel sorry for herself for the way she is being treated by VC (Karti). In fact, she seems to be waiting for the spurting, uncontainable love the follows the every infliction of pain to her wounded soul. People might want to ask why would she have to be in such relationship. She is well done with her job, with a tasteful and interesting lifestyle and she doesn’t need VC at all. Well, these are the comments from people who have the third set of eyes, who didn’t fall in love with VC, who didn’t make an unbreakable vow to themselves to love this man regardless of how he would have turned as a person. Because Leela believes that she is not perfect either. She feels that if she could leave VC for the way he is, she will be left for the way she is too, a timid, vulnerable women who has got an chance in life to grasp the love she has been longing to reach. She is willing to sacrifice her individuality for such love and totally unaware of her gradual transformation until it stares her straight at her face in the end.
VC and Leela, they both think that this is how they exchange their love. And the wrongness in it is not even realized until things get too far as they don’t even believe that it is still wrong. Their love is not influenced by the other couples they see. They don’t learn it from the external world. They form their own way to exchange their passion even when it hurts they continue to do so. They still don’t distinguish right and wrong in love as they believe that there is nothing could go wrong in love. If this is how this love should be, they believe that they should go through with the same, unaware of it, until it is too much to handle. Leela loves VC even stronger after she is hurt by him as she lives in the consolation of certainty that her wounds will be treated by his love after every heartbreak. In simple words, She doesn’t mind getting hurt. So, Will that give any right to the third person to judge her ability and individuality for taking in all the pain before even trying to walking in her shoes?
Again, this is not a piece to justify Leela’s decision to be damsel in distress or VC’s unfair treatment towards Leela and absolution for the same. It is about reasoning with the guileless charm of Leela for why would she takes in the pain while the clouds of hurt still closing in on her. Whatever there is right or wrong, it is only visible to people who watch over the people in love while it is not seen by the very people in themselves until they reach the end of it all. Kaatru Veliyidai tries to convey this while missing to hit the dart as it lacks the idiosyncrasy in its characters. Karti is not convincing enough to make us really see him for what’s the point of his doings. He lacks the allure while Aditi sweeps off people with her divinity and Ravi Varman, the cinematographer lifts the appeal of the whole film up. ARR and Vairamuthu sprinkles the sweet chocolate on this cinnamon pie which lacks the taste to dig deeper.
Lakshmi is a scribbler by night who wants to experience all sorts of emotions the silver screen offers for once and pens them down to reflect upon them time and again. She also finds talking about herself in third person amusing as it lets her conscience to think that she actually believes in herself.