Ippadiku Kadhal Movie Review: A lackadaisical story on finding love after grief
Ippadiku Kadhal has Shiva who grieves the loss of his wife Ramya (Janani) and his struggle to move on affects his relationship with Anjana (Sonakshi)
During a poignant moment in Ippadiku Kadhal, Shiva (Bharath) pulls his girl, Anjana (Sonakshi) all the way to Kolkata to do an act of defiance. Despite her initial reluctance, she would do it, albeit with a tad bit of happiness on her face. This scene instantly evoked a sense of déjà vu, reminiscent of a similar scene in Kanden Kadhalai where Anjali (Tamannaah Bhatia) would push Sakthivel (Bharath) to burn her ex-partner’s photo and flush it down the toilet. Ah, how the tables have changed! Bharath’s role as Sakthi peered into his role as Shiva here for that one time. This was probably just one of the moments where my excitement for a nanosecond let down my expectations for the rest of the film.
Director: Bharath Mohan
Cast: Bharath, Janani, Sonakshi and Bagavathi Perumal
Helmed by Bharath Mohan in his sophomore directorial, Ippadiku Kadhal has Shiva who grieves the loss of his wife Ramya (Janani) and his struggle to move on affects his relationship with Anjana (Sonakshi).
The narrative of Ippadiku Kadhal moves back and forth showcasing the love story between Shiva and Ramya, but with the limited information that is provided, the audience is forced to stitch the pieces between their story. Even then, the full picture remains elusive, leaving us longing for a deeper understanding of their love, yearning to fully immerse ourselves in the emotions they shared. Janani has a limited screen space of half an hour, but her presence is enough to light up an entire room. The screenplay does a disservice to Bharath and Janani’s roles and we are distant from the grief inflicted on everyone by the passing away of the latter.
Sonakshi on the other hand, struggles to emote her feelings throughout the entirety of the film. Despite her earnest efforts, when Anjana displays anger, it feels more like a hint of disappointment rather than the intended fiery temper of her character. She comes across as a partner unable to give Shiva the time and space to move on from his bitter past. When two people are equally madly in love with each other, disagreements over trivial matters are common, yet they often lead to meaningful resolutions. When a friend tells her that Shiva would probably not know her birthday, Anjana creates a fight out of it with him. She then keeps nudging him to finish reading the diary of his deceased ex-wife for some weird joy. All these scenes add very little substance to the narrative. Instead, it feels contrived and fails to convincingly portray a genuine conflict that would lead to the couple feeling lost in the relationship.
Shiva holds onto Ramya’s memories tightly through the album and recreates them in his head to relive them, but we never get to know the impact that the couple had on each other in their long-standing relationship. We are never truly introduced to Ramya as an individual with her own aspirations and presence beyond her role in Shiva's life. Were there conflicts between Ramya and Shiva, and did they learn and grow from their mistakes? How did their relationship evolve over time, and did Shiva undergo personal growth as a result of their connection? Did he actively support Ramya's dreams? These questions lingered even before the credits started rolling.
The one time where I felt relieved was when the film showcased trauma as close to reality as possible. We could see the pain in Shiva's eyes when he tries to drive his car again, weeks after a scarring incident. But this moment is again ruined by Anjana who seemingly forces him into driving again without understanding that he needs more time to recover.
It is only towards the end of the story that the story gains momentum and the characters communicate their woes. It is only then we get clarity about what is truly bugging them. How I wish that the makers had this clarity throughout the runtime.