40 Years of Moondram Pirai : A timeless classic

 This is one film which has a special place in my heart. I remember cursing the person who made this film when I was a kid. I wanted Cheenu and Viji to have their happily ever after but unfortunately fate doesn’t always work that way. I used to imagine how beautiful it would have been if both them had gotten together. It is one of those films where the hand always searches for the remote right before the climax. Eyes become moist and the heart becomes heavy. How beautiful it was until Bala turned it into a sadistic template.

For all that Sridevi was and the undisputed stardom that she enjoyed you can never look past Bhagyalaxshmi of Moondram Pirai. She plays the woman child with absolute perfection. No wonder we all fell in love with her along with Cheenu. It is a role which gave us a glorious glimpse of what a fantastic screen personality Sridevi. It is a film which taps into all the strengths of Sridevi with absolute ease. Everything about her is so adorable and irresistible. It is not an easy job to grasp the depth and bring out the joy of being blissfully unaware of everything that is happening around you but Sridevi pulls it off. The fact that none of the actresses could pull off a similar role even after all these years says it all.

This is one film which gets rid of Kamal’s narcissism without second thoughts. He let’s Sridevi walk away with all the honours in almost all the scenes except the climax where Kamal almost snatches everything away from Sridevi. Viji , Cheenu Viji is still fresh in memory. The film also features my father’s favorite song which he used to sing every night before sleep. Kanne Kalaimane is a sweet evergreen lullaby. And then there’s that guilty pleasure of Silk the seductress even in a serious film like this.

Moondram Pirai is a fitting example of how excellent writing and well thought out character sketches could elevate a film. No wonder echoes of Cheenu Viji keeps reverberating even after all these years. Balu Mahendra, Kamal, Sridevi and Illayaraja. What more do you need ? A timeless classic.

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