Cinemapuram – 1 | Chinnathayi – the story of the woman who convinced us to question God!


Every generation has a little grudge against their younger generation. It is the fear that the younger generation, who look over their shoulders at the distant world, refuse to see our lives. Generation gap cannot be easily overcome. These spaces have thousands of historical stories buried in them.

Dictionaries and languages ​​of the 2K generation are innovative as they embrace modernity. In those new meme-dominated agaratis, the village is defined as green fields or sparsely forested forests. A village actually holds a diverse micro-biome within itself. This ‘Sinemapuram’ series is an attempt to travel in search of the traces of Tamil cinema, which has rarely recorded the life buried in such villages.

One of the unique features of Tamilnadu villages is the unity in the diversity that it hides within itself. The town, which is divided into streets during normal times, gathers together during celebrations. That is how they are gathered together for the temple offering ceremony. Once a year or once in a certain interval, those endowments bring more than just celebrations. It creates a bond between the commoner and the Sami and instills great hope in the town for the days ahead.

A sliver of that hope is to express his need to Sammy. The fact that the common man can worship the Sami is the treasure that Tamilnadu Village Kodai festivals are nurturing. The film ‘Chinnathaai’ beautifully captures the fact that the common man can question Sami.

Veeramuthu Nayakkar is a Sami priest who belongs to a family that has been visiting Sudalimadan for generations. Despite his qualifications, he makes his son Ponnurasu study in the city. Samundi, a local rich man who makes charcoal smoke from the same town. Chamundi, a Chandigarh, brings to the village a woman named Rasamma, who has been cheated on by her lover and is pregnant with a child. Chinnathayi, daughter of Rasamma. Bonnurasu has been in love with Chinnatha since childhood. Even though the child has love for Ponnurasu, he does not express it due to his mother’s reprimand.

As the story of an ant soaks a stone and wears it, Bonnurasu’s love affair provokes Chinnatha’s love and causes him to get mixed up. Thus Chinnathayi becomes pregnant before marriage just like her mother. Knowing this, Rasamma goes in front of Veeramuthu, the father of Ponnurasu, who is responsible for her daughter’s pregnancy, so that her daughter should not die like herself, when he comes to Samiyadi as Sudalimadan and asks for justice. Sami walks past her to the temple without replying and is left unsettled. Meanwhile, Rasamma dies trying to save her daughter from Chamundi, who wants to make Chinnathayi a heroine in place of the aged Ramma, and a helpless Chinnathayi waits for Ponnurasu, who has gone to town hoping for her love. The rest of the story of the film is whether Chinnatha’s love won… Sudalimadan, the village guard, showed her the way.

Hunter and village faith

On the surface, it looks like a 90s village formula movie like hero-heroine love, caste issue against love, no bus facility, school boy saying Wangonna…Saukiyama…but the screenplay of the film has many subtle aspects of the village buried in it. Foremost among them is the native deities that keep the villages alive and the villagers’ right and belief in them.

A part of the Kodai ceremony is to be a watchman for the village and go hunting for Sami who will receive the Kodai after midnight when the village gathers in the village temple for Kodai. The belief is that one should not go in front of or against the Sudalamadan who is going to hunt like that. The restriction of not going in front of the hunter is not observed within the temple premises. There you can ask (and get) what you want from Sami. This culture is beautifully captured in the opening scene of the film. Sudalimadan, who was angry with the woman who came in front of him on his way back from hunting, would quietly say goodbye when he entered the temple.

Villages in trivia

There are a few people in the villages who exchange money for emergency expenses, like the small change that mothers hide in the spice jars of the home kitchen. Vangubar Chamundi’s aspirational heroine Rasamma gives that kind of charm in the film. It is the great tragedy of the times that this culture has become a usury industry. Ur, who accepted Rasamma’s emergency help, did not accept her because of her lifestyle. However, when the child is orphaned like the mother, the same village comes and helps the child without asking.

Similarly, if you want to visit someone in the villages, you should go early in the morning or after sunset. At other times the villagers go to work in the forest. The police inspector who comes to arrest Chamundi, the murderer of Rasamma, will come only at dawn. The director would have shown it through the fight scene between Inspector and Chamundi. While they are fighting, a farmer is taking his sheep to graze in between. This is one of the subtleties recorded by Tamil cinema.

In the opening scene of the film, there is an incident that resembles a child’s game. The 90’s children’s Samiyadum song (Leave the Castle and Go for a Hunt) which was a way of expressing how games depended on their lives goes like this…

“Annadam is the country’s fenugreek
Gourd prices have gone up
Going to the market

The price is going up in the market

Poor me, buy it
Monday is not coming
Although it seems that “Sammy N Paketla” has been philosophizing with children, the scene would have highlighted that the children who played Kanjikachi Curry knew the price of vegetables.

You are the one who questioned God

Director S has shown the fact that common people can seek justice from Sami in two parts of the film. Ganesh Raja. For the first time, Rasamma seeks justice for her daughter from Veeramuthu, who comes as a huntsman. The second one is to ask Ponnurasu who comes to hunt as a maiden, to plead for his daughter. The director has shot the generation gap so beautifully in these two scenes.

Veeramuthu, who always pretends to be Sudalamadan, tells his wife what Rasamma said about Ponnurasu-Chinnatai’s love, “I stifled the cry of my mother in defiance of grace and that’s why Sami Sanchiruchu came to the temple. It’s destiny illadi un pilla sencha sati.” In that scene, Ure would have turned into a commoner looking at Sami.

In the final scene of the film, Ponnurasu has become the new Sudalimadachami as a paternal successor. Chinnatai will come in front of Ponnurasu, who is going to hunt as a virgin, and pleads for justice for her child. Just like Sami, the father of the woman standing opposite, the son will shake Sami. But Ponnurasu, who is a virgin, accepts Chinnatai. The director who showed Sami as a commoner in the first scene, in the second scene, Sami would have made Sami a commoner who only knows how to protect and does not know how to protect.

The director who told the new legend

Another novelty of this film is that the director has told a new alternative story to the story of Sudalimadan. In the Sudalimadan stories told in the villages, it is said that Sudalaimadan Perumbaulayan’s daughter Isaki, who was slaying the sorcerer named Mayandi Perumbaulayan, raped her and demanded her as a sacrifice when she was only a month old. For that legend, he wrote a new myth about Sudalimadan, who asked Sudalimadan to sacrifice his own child, that he could not be a Sami and Sudalimadan, who protected the village, would not have done such a thing.

It is an original village epic that tells in the cultural background how the younger generation working in the technological revolution should be different from its previous generation!

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