Neethaanea En Ponvasantham – 2

Please read the first part here

The College Days

So they meet in some inter-collegiate meet. He sings a song from Ninaivellam Nithya and she later declares that she was “Galli” from that moment on. It was a sweet touch and all that but I am not good at discussing sweet touches and we shall pass over lightly over them.

So they meet and this time Nithya has grown. Not only has she grown enough to wear pretty green sarees during fashion shows, she also during her elocution competition declares (and I paraphrase) that “If you love someone, a second chance is the best gift you give them and sometimes it is the best gift you can give yourself“. This is not all impressive elocution talk either, she willingly and gracefully hands over her phone number and is open to a reconciliation.

Here Santhanam realises that he was paid a hefty sum to be funny and throws a few one-liners about “intha ponunga ellam”. Let us not waste time over all that. The only thing important thing here is that Varun is willing to sing an Illayaraja song to floor the girl and Nithya is willing to be floored by a song that Varun sings. It is apparently not his voice that does it to her. It is the fact that he bothered to choose a song from Ninaivellam Nithya

Their first date as adults again was great to watch. He begins with an apology and she says bygones can be bygones, the next sentence he asks about Dinesh (the SPL). Nithya is still in contact with him and Varun is still slightly pissed off about it. He wants to show that he has female friends too. “Divya is fine too and I often talk”, he says. But Nithya has contact with Divya too and does not buy the lie for a nanosecond. But she lets it go.

So they start seeing each other and she has a lot of money that she can throw away without showing any account. So she drops him in college every day, considers it “Quality Time” and could not care less about the petrol cost. She pretends to have lost her mobile phone and gives it to him for more talk at night. This is a time when mobile phones were a sign of luxury. Varun needs to go to the toilet to attend her call as he has to share his living space with his brothers. But Nithya has no problem about who spends the money now. She buys him a shirt and dolls him up and gets all dreamy eyed when he wears that shirt. In all this, one thing is apparent. She believes strongly that if there is enough love, money is a non-issue.

The thing about Nithya is that she is ever idealistic. As a child she had idealist notions of her guy friend spending all the time with her, as a teenager about the guy footing the dating bills, and as a young woman of 20 she has idealist notions about her love conquering the financial chasm. She is now so rich that when she plans to tour abroad and Varun jokes that he wants to tag along. Nithya seems to have seriously considered doing so. She says if it wasn’t for her sister, she would have taken Varun along. This is not completely believable. I strongly believe that this is the type of movie in which suspension of disbelief is everything. Nithya is not a girl who is not answerable to her parents at all. She just someone who takes advantage of daddy’s deep pocket.

Varun for his part is no passive recepticle for her affections either, he does take her out, thrown parties and shower her with affection.

There are intimate moments too and they seem mutual and without the usual fuss. It is good to see intimacy in a tamil movie without the resultant pregnancy threat drama. It also exists without any fanservice and titilation. It just is. That is a huge plus in this movie (IMO).

The Main Split

Nithya is an Arts student and Varun is an engineering student and so she finishes undergraduation a year before him. She has only one plan. To keep seeing this dude. Nothing else. She is a go-getter. Now that she has gone and got it, she knows not what to do with him and herself until they reach proper marriageable age. This is where SHE is in life when she goes to tour the world.

Varun’s brother falls for a collegue and the parents go to formally met the girl and her parents only to have their middle-class status thrown at their face. And something clear and distinct changes in Varun. He wants to become rich and earn back the self respect his parents deserve. These things happening in a close but low-key family is well written. The father is loving but is no great achiever and the brother had struggled for years to find a job. Even in this current job, he does not seem to have great scope of improvement. So if the family is to rise above middle class existence then it would be because of Varun and he is suddenly painfully aware of it. This is where HE is in life when she comes back after the world tour.

Things happen all of a sudden. She is back and he is not excited enough, he does not spend time with her, he refuses to drive her brand new car. The little things are shown so beautifully. In fact, he car now seems to annoy him. He asks how he can drive what is her car? That it is not right.

This part is my most favourite part of the movie. It is actually Varun who breaks up with Nithya. He is probably thinking that Nithya’s dad is even more likely to hurt his parents then that other girl’s dad. He is probably thinking that having a girl friend is likely to slow him down. Whatever he thinks, he breaks up silently. He withdraws affection, attenion, time spent with her etc. He does it in such a way that she finally loses her cool and breaks up with him. Verbally. The thing is, I have seen these passive-aggressive breakups happen around me. It is what cowards do. Just be unavailable, let the relationship take its downward spiral and then sing soup songs.

And Nithya isn’t without her issues either. In her over-enthu romancing, she is now only a shadow of her previous self. This girl who used to top the class in academics and co-curriculars is now a nobody who wants to accompany her BF to Kozhikode and do something when her boyfriend is in college. I believe that even without Varun’s sudden ambitions, Nithya’s total lack of life beyond Varun would have driven the relationship to saturation point.

There was also a lot attention of detail, like Varun using a condescending tone when encouraging Nithya to find a career and she shooting back that she was the class-topper, remember? A small detail that presented itself to me during second viewing is that Varun asks Nithya that if she is sooo surprised that he is leaving Chennai to pursue his education, then did she expect him to fail? She says no, she expected him to pass but did not really think of the next step. But maybe Varun has a slight low-esteem about Nithya getting higher marks than him too.

But whatever is the case, Nithya breaks up the relationship again. But as I said before, I feel that passive-aggressive Varun already did it in his own way, Nitya just does the honours.

To be continued. ..

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9 thoughts on “Neethaanea En Ponvasantham – 2

  1. Madhu says:

    How are you doing? Is the flood situation okay now? It is so sad to see how nature has wreaked all the havoc it could. Thankfully, almost all the people I know are doing fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am doing good, Madhu. Wish I could say the same for all Chennaites very soon.

    Long time no see. How are you doing? If I am not wrong, you live in France don’t you. Man made disaster if there ever was one.

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  3. Madhu says:

    I am doing good. Yes, I am in France. We are moving to UK in January and am busy with all the shifting…hence the presence only to read stuff and not comment much 🙂 I am actually from Coimbatore, but have many relatives and friends in Chennai. Yes, nature is pretty strong on revenge…enna seiyya!

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  4. Actually by man made disaster I meant the terror in France. Here there is negligence, but terror is very different, right?

    Good to see people reach out to each other though. Should share my thoughts when I can

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  5. Very engagingly written. I dont get around to seeing movies nowadays and heard this one was special for Samantha. Its these apparently plotless movies which are the most difficult to write about in a manner which holds reader interest.

    You’ve dissected the relationship very well. In line with the name of your site femininetosh. Way to go !

    https://thezolazone.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/star-wars-the-force-took-years-to-awaken/

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Im so glad that there is someone who likes nep as much as i do.I pretty much have the same thoughts about varun actually breaking up before nithya does so verbally,u put that across in a beautiful manner.I have lost count of the no of times i have watched this movie,maybe because i relate so much to nithya.Especially during mudhal murai partha nyabagam, when nithya’s sister tells her to concentrate on her own career instead of sitting idly waiting for varun.Gautam menon is one of my favourite directors in tamil,and he got it absolutely bang on in nep..

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  7. Thanks Nivi, however I have watched this movie only once when it was released and 2/3rds after that. The 1/3rd I will watch just before I write part 3.

    I find it a very difficult movie to watch. I mean the fights and the breakups and disappointments. It affects me a lot.

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  8. Oh i completely agree that it is a difficult movie to watch…its not a feel good romance at all.But maybe because i relate to nithya a lot, and having been through almost the same situations,i feel like im watching myself onscreen 🙂 I have never felt so connected to a character before.

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  9. Oh I absolutely love the terrace fight. It is so real. Real fights are not about one thing. It is about the lack of space, it is about his financial status that he wants to improve, it is about her lack of similar ambition. But it is also about her having given up being a topper in acedemics and other things just because she had prioritized the time spent with him higher than absolutely everything else. And of course, it is not that HE made her do that. She, in her own boyfriend-obsession, had become what she is. A nervous-wreck.

    But then again, would the relationship have fared better had she given space, had her own ambitions and been more understanding of his ambitions? I think not. I believe that sometimes these breakups are for the best. Life may not be one sweet song, but it is alright. If it is meant to be, it will be.

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