What a movie! It gifted me a couple of wonderful hours. A movie, silent, without dialogues. There is no verbal speech between characters. And yet it doesn’t look weird. In fact it looks so natural. And this movie proves that dialogues are not an inevitable thing for a movie. You can do without it. The trick is in the brilliant direction. The director has woven the thing mostly out of such scenes, characters and situations as don’t require any speech, where presence of speech will be utterly redundant and only look unnatural and make the thing look artificial. The girl and the boy who love each other have their romance from their respective balconies of different rooms that face each other in the same hotel by means of body-language as the rooms are far from each other in two different ends of the same hotel building. What use are words in such a situation when the speakers couldn’t hear each other from such a distance. And the girl has a pair of binoculars with her to see the guy closer. And the girl’s father is a magician who performs on the stage. And a magician never needs words to speak to his audience. He communicates with the spectators through mysterious, strange and interesting gesticulations while he conjures up things. The maid-servant comes every morning to the multistoreyed building where the boy stays to sweep and clean the verandah and rooms of the tenants including him. She has so many rooms to clean that she doesn’t have time to speak to anyone. She doesn’t need to utter a word even to the occupants of the rooms as there’s nothing special to say and her work is so routine involving the same task each morning. No sooner does she enters the building than she embarks upon her duty and get immersed diligently in her work. Perhaps she needs to open her mouth only to ask her pay. But that’s only once in a month. Such a scene never appears in the movie however. Then there is the beggar at the streetside who catches the boy’s attention on his way. The young guy who is dressed so neatly and with a fresh and clean face and the looks of a respectable executive(eventhough he only aspires to be so and is jobless) has no business to even go near the beggar who is filthily clad in soiled rags and looks as if it’s been ages since he has had a shower, let alone talk to him. They stare at each other from a distance and communicates through facial expressions and smiles and minor gestures of the hand.
The film is not totally devoid of sounds though. Only dialogues between the characters are absent. There is the music at the background. And other sounds that can’t be classified as speech between individuals in the plot, such as the sounds coming out from the cinema in the building adjacent to the boy’s house, or the news heard from the radio, or such sounds as that of the noise of a street brawl, and some audible expressions of emotions and exclamations here and there.
The theme is such a simple one, yet so philosophical. So classy! So cute, yet so pregnant with life. Such a real classic! No big hungama about anything, nevertheless it never fails to make the points. This is the kind of movie I fall in love with so terribly! This has entered my favourites-list :) Thanks Singeetham Srinivasa Rao! If you hadn’t done it, anybody would have?
Before leaving, just watch this beautiful sequence from the movie (Forgot to tell you, in case you don't know, the guy is Kamal Hassan and the girl is Amala):