CAST AND CREW
Production: Vijay Sethupathi
Cast: Ramesh Tilak, Vijay Sethupathi
Direction: Biju Viswanath
Screenplay: Biju Viswanath, Vijay Sethupathi
Story: Biju Viswanath, Vijay Sethupathi
Music: Justin Prabhakaran
Background score: Justin Prabhakaran
Cinematography: Biju Viswanath
Editing: Biju Viswanath
It is said that old age is second childhood. In many ways Orange Mittai directed by Biju Viswanath seems to touch upon this theory, on the way caressing associated issues in the evening of life.
A song in the background goes –“Paalaivanathai Kadakkirom, Solai Vandhal Magizhgirom, Edhuvum Illai Nirandharam, Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum”. These verses sum up the essence of the film and also life. When loosely translated- We cross deserts and are happy to encounter oasis on the way; nothing is permanent and even this shall pass.
This in fact is the spirit of life and when understood rightly, life becomes much easier, happier.
Vijay Sethupathi is a lonely old man Kailasam who has suffered a cardiac attack and needs to be taken to a hospital. Ramesh Thilak, is the Emergency Medical Technician, who with the help of the ambulance driver Arumugam Bala attempts to take the old man to a nearby hospital. The ensuing experiences are Orange Mittai, in a nutshell.
Characteristic features of old people are very astutely brought through Vijay Sethupathi by Biju Viswanath. His obstinate nature, attention seeking activities, unwilling to reason out and child like behavior sometimes are a joy to watch out for. People who have the experience of handling elders can perfectly relate to Sethupathi’s Kailasam.
Looks like the actor has enjoyed playing his role and his dance on the middle of a road is a joy to watch out for. Such free-spirited, uninhibited portrayal! The finer nuances in demonstrating an old man, like the snooty look or the helpless countenance, Sethupathi aces them all.
As the exasperated but a conscientious Sathya, Ramesh Thilak brings out the subtleties of his character. He is someone who loves his job passionately and hence willing to put up with it however much difficult it is.
It is a matured performance from the actor who has more screen time than Vijay Sethupathi. Arumugam Bala is natural and extempore in dialogue delivery and portrayal of his character. Karunakaran and Ashok Selvan appear in cameos.
What strikes in Biju Viswanth’s Orange Mittai is it is not preachy and there is no melodrama anywhere even if there is scope for one. The humor just glides through and enjoyable.
The director himself has taken care of cinematography and editing and hence brings out the feel of the scene with the right kind of visuals and the shot duration. Justin Prabhakaran scores in Payanangal number and adds value through his BGM.
That said, with all its pluses, Orange Mittai still gives a feel that there is something amiss when you get out of the theatre, perhaps because of its episodic nature? Even though it is ‘just a slice of life’ movie, the story gives a feel of incompleteness at the end.
The father-son bond is something special which has been talked in many films. In Orange Mittai, the director deals with it in the most practical manner and with a difference.
Like how an orange mittai is sour-sweet, life comes with its own flavors and tastes which should be savored and moved on because the journey is destination.
Verdict: Vijay Sethupathi’s performance on life’s lessons in a non-preachy manner is enjoyable