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Hey Sinamika tends to strike a new pose in a changing Tamil cinema where ghost movies are out and crime thrillers are in. Comedy today needs tragic element to sell. Emotions mar the saleability of action films. In this scenario, dance choreographer Brinda has tried to give a romance through and through, that too in her first foray behind the camera.

The story revolves almost entirely around the characters of Dulquer Salman, Aditi Rao Hydari and Kajal Agarwal. The emotions of the three are given much importance, even respect.

Women directors are expected to tell stories from a woman’s perspective, if not from a feminist viewpoint. Their stories are expected to delve into a contemporary woman’s problems and aspirations. Does Hey Sinamika deliver on that?

Well, love can sour for a woman, says Hey Sinamika, at the outset. It’s first love for Mona (Aditi) when she sees Yazhan (Dulquer). But too much love can be overwhelming. So it does to Mona.

Mona is a top executive at a construction firm and Yazhan is a homemaker. This is just the first role reversal. Yazhan, like all good homemakers, is happy in his kitchen, gardening and book, yet is a chatterbox like the dutiful wives of another movie era. Just as the loquacious Yazhan gets on everyone’s nerves, from the paperboy to the milkman, and among them is his wife, Mona. Soon enough Moha decides to move on. She has had enough with Yazhan.

A career move to Puducherry offers the perfect excuse, she thinks. But Yazhan is not to be left behind. He also moves there.

Malarvizhi offers some solace. She is Mona’s new neighbour and, as fortune favours the seeker, she is a psychologist who can guide her on a guilt-free way out. Now, Malarvizhi thinks all men are congenital lechers and she is out to prove Yazhan is one, too. So she gets to know him. And when she does, she falls for Yazhan.

And where does that leave Yazhan and Mona? That forms the rest of the story.

While differences among couples can be reason for separation, Hey Sinamika believes they can make a marriage interesting. Instead of fights, love can build, it believes.

Tamil cinema has had many women directors. From TP Rajalakshmi through Vijayanirmala and Revathi, there were many but they came in spurts. After the 2000s, Janaki Viswanathan, Priya V, Madhumitha, Nandhini, Sudha Kongara and Halitha Shamim have come in a stream. The latest in this is Brinda.

Hey Sinamika doesn’t make us laugh loud but certainly makes a smile creep up our face. The screenplay drags when the reasons for the problems between the two are explained. But the comic element picks up in the second half to make up for it.

Tamil cinema has had many women directors. From TP Rajalakshmi through Vijayanirmala and Revathi, there were many but they came in spurts.

After the 2000s, Janaki Viswanathan, Priya V, Madhumitha, Nandhini, Sudha Kongara and Halitha Shamim have come in a stream. The latest in this is Brinda.

Sudha and Halitha excel in the technical aspects and Brinda excels in serving a contemporary commercial movie for the box office.

Will a man not lust for a woman’s body even if they become close? Should women stay at home? Can’t men take up cooking? These are common questions in the minds of independent women. They are there in this movie, too, but Mona doesn’t need to expect them. What other women may yearn for in their men, Yazhan has them already. So, it was best that Mona and Malarvizhi changed themselves, Brinda seems to have felt. Instead of the woman taking on the project of changing a man, the women change themselves.

In wanting to be intimate with Dulquer, Nakshathra Nagesh’s character shows just sexually liberated the women are in Hey Sinamika, just like that.

But in her own way, Brinda has created a fantasy. Yazhan is the fantasy man of many women. Madhan Karky has ably helped to draw out the character.

When Mona details her problems, not only do the men sexualize Mona, a woman colleague too expresses lust. In wanting to be intimate with Dulquer, Nakshathra Nagesh’s character shows just sexually liberated the women are in Hey Sinamika, just like that. The script too tries to plumb the psychological needs of women. Named after a song in Mani Ratnam’s Ok Kanmani, Hey Sinamika takes what’s suggested in that film into a fully developed aspect.

In a sense, Hey Sinamika is a tribute to the women characters of the past. Aditi Rao Hydari is a composite of many of Mani Ratnam’s women such as in Thiruda Thiruda, Mouna Ragam, Guru and Alaipayudhe while Kajal plays the quirky heroine of K Balachander. For the most part, Dulquer seems unaware that there is a camera. His is a natural performance, actually a non-performance. He doesn’t seem to be performing at all. Unlike other dance choreographers who directed movies, Brinda has stayed away from musical rhythms although there are two mandatory songs.


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