Alaipayuthey- How society influences relationships

I watched Aliapayuthey and I am officially spoilt! My idea about marriage and relationships is never going to be the same again.

of-course this goes without saying

I know I am late to the party, but maybe the occasion was just right to watch it. Everything which has to be said about this movie was already told by a lot of people, but the focus of this piece would be on the way this film portrayed the Social aspect in the relationships and how a society influences the relationship between both lovers and a married couple.

Karthik and Shakti’s love story starts on a very ethnographic note showing a wedding scene in a village and a song, The whole motto of this song is to portray the attraction between the leads. In between the song there is an exchange of dialogue between both of them, it was flirtatious in all kinds, yet it has a casual(sexist) comment made by the hero about marriage and village women which reveals a lot about his character and also sets up the central theme in the film, will a beautiful love story continue to be as beautiful marriage?.

Karthik’s opinion about Marriage

Soon after the song is done we get a peek into both of their households and the stark contrast in them is revealed to us. These details set up the conflict and pace for the film with the question about them who are poles opposite in personality and social status getting together.

As they meet at Shakti’s college they have a conversation with the fence in-between as if its separating them. Here is the immediate next question she asks him after his name.

Shakti’s initial opinion on him

Later on in his initial stage of courting, they start talking to each other on telephone. Here Shakti is talking to him from a nearby shop with telephone, where as karthik is doing that at the comfort of his household.

Their love story and the social conflict in it reach its peak when karthik’s parents reach Shakti’s home with the marriage proposal. This turns the tables, we get where things are going as soon as karthik’s father starts making comments on their house and ends up in both of them getting into a sort of class war.

shakti meets him after this incident and tells him that she is never ready to leave her parents for him, and soon after a few days of longing they come to a conclusion that they can’t live without each other and they decide to secretly get married. They keep their marriage under the wraps and suddenly there is an impromptu marriage match ceremony arranged for shakti along with her sister. Now this is kind of a bomb under the table moment and here is what Shakti’s cousin(she is betrothed to him) utters at that moment.

Indian obsession with NRI groom to be’s

Both of them gets thrown out of their houses as soon as they get to know about their marriage. They move to a house which stands as a metaphor for their incomplete relationship, it is unfinished and its brick walls stand as witness to their fights.

Why didn’t they call this movie Marriage story

Shakti’s Father’s death furthers the conflicts and complications in their marriage to such an extent that they are almost on the verge of getting separated. Karthik cares only about his work now and doesn’t give a damn about the emotional life of him and his partner. In a way even he feels the guilt for her father’s death. He could’ve took her to see him when he was alive, but his ego stopped him.

Society adds and takes away a lot from our relationships. Karthik is no one but an entitled male who takes his wife for granted. This brings in a lot of problems in their relationship, he doesn’t want to change himself or his attitude, because why should he? He thinks his wife has to keep up with all his bullshit (more like every other man). He thinks and believes she has nowhere to go but to him and this sort of brings him a pride even though his wife is equally independent and shares equal responsibility in the household along with him, he doesn’t value her. He thinks of her just as a girl who fell for him. All this is nothing but a societal influence on him and him not thinking about how much emotional dependence he has on his partner. Her absence and a near death situation makes him realize that. The film ends with an optimistic promise by him to never fight with her in future.

I felt a sense of discomfort with this conclusion, will he ever be true to his words? will they ever be that happily ever after couple? we don’t know, but maybe these lines are used to throw some light on his state of mind along with the last frame of the film.

Just Mani Rathnam things

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