Top positive review
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Utter Realistic (Adoptive) Family Dynamics
on July 27, 2009
The first thing that comes to my mind about this movie is the utterly realistic dynamics between each member of the family. We have two adopted daughters, and little Amudha acted and reacted in exactly the same manner as our daughters would under similar circumstances. My wife, over and over, identified with Indra, the adoptive mother. The movie accurately depicts not only the normal conflict as a young girl starts to try to change from finding her identity in her mother to creating her own separate identity. It also accurately depicts the feelings of the mother when the adoptive daughter wants to prefer her birth mother. For example, when they would get angry at my wife, our daughters would often assert that their 'real' mother wouldn't treat her like this. The feeling of rejection is hard for an adoptive mother to experience, just as was the pain Indra felt when Amudha rejected her mom for her FANTASY of her birth mother. The movie also depicts Indra finding solace at times like that in her husband's love for her.
There is simply a dynamic between a father and daughter that cannot be duplicated between a mother and daughter. This was clearly shown in this movie. Amudha often ran to her dad for reassurance, protection and even guidance in exactly the same manner our daughters would run to me instead of their mother. The love between father and daughter is so palpable one can almost touch it on screen. And, that is as it should be as the father is (mostly unconsciously) teaching his daughter what to look for in a husband, and she is learning how to express her love for her future husband by (again, mostly unconsciously) 'practicing' love on her father. One vibrant example in the movie occurred when they found a woman they thought was Amudha's birth mother. Amudha literally hid behind her father, just peeking around him to look at this woman. She sought even stronger emotional protection from her dad when the woman insisted that Amudha was not her daughter, in effect rejecting the little girl.
Because the family dynamics are so accurately portrayed, the story itself becomes very real. Because it takes place in Sri Lanka, where there has been war for twenty-five years, there are quite a few war and battle scenes. [The highest Tamil leader was killed just two months before we watched this movie, effectively, according to the Sri Lankan government, ending the war.] Other than some war scenes, there is no reason older children - who can follow subtitles - would not be able to watch it. The ending is quite emotional, especially when Amudha gives her adoptive mother a peck on the cheek.
Every adoptive family should watch this movie. If one is starting with adoptive children, they would be able to see some very accurate adoptive family dynamics. If one has older adoptive children, I am sure you will find many of the scenes quite familiar. One that I can give would be this. As Amudha is changing clothes in their Sri Lankan's host bedroom, she gets into a fight with her mother. At that moment, all Amudha could think of was the emotional support she knew her father would give. So, she scampers into the living room, where Dad is chatting with their host, completely forgetting that she is wearing only panties! Her dad, wisely, instead of getting after her for being 'indecent' loves her up, and I am sure if the scene had been followed further, talked with her - that it is okay to for her to get mad at her mother, but she has to also listen to and obey her.
I cannot imagine anyone who likes movies about families who would not absolutely love this one. Also, with so many single parent movies, it is refreshing to see the different dynamics between a child and both parents. I don't think that many people who watch this movie would come away feeling disappointed. It is too bad that this is little Kannathil Muthamittal's only movie.