By Krishna (aka Caesium)
If the wiki article is to be believed, GVM’s 50th birthday is next week. Using that as a chance to write this article (mostly from memory) – a collection of memorable mini-moments from our Menon’s movies.
Poopol Poopol song freeze-framing to Pepsi sponsored Minnale! (I’d equally credit HJ and GVM for this one)
Kaakha Kaakha (2003):
Open curtains – “Ippadithan irukanum nu sollala.. Ipdi irundha nalla irukum nu solren..” and its poignant echo in the climax.
Upon Pandya’s first call to Surya, Surya takes Jothika via the back door. She casually asks “is this how you normally exit?” And he responds “sometimes”. This casual tone, when they just received a threat, was so fresh. To stay cool was actually kinda massy, but it was done in a classy way here.
Vettaiyadu Vilayadu (2006):
In a flashback, Kamal and Prakash Raj encounter a few villains. Kamalini gets hurt and Prakash Raj rushes her to hospital immediately (while Kamal is somewhere a little away still fighting the bad guys). Despite that, docs couldn’t save Kamalini. Kamal is devastated.
In current time, Kamal is hunting for the serial killers knowing they are also responsible for Prakash Raj’s daughter’s death. During the investigation, he talks about Prakash Raj to a fellow cop and says “I owe him that. Actually, I owe him more than that”. That second line was such a subtle echo of that flashback scene where Prakash Raj tries to save Kamalini. I was just blown away by how subtlety GVM establishes the emotional connections.
Pachaikili Muthucharam (2007):
“Who said bad things can’t happen to good people?”
Vaaranam Aayiram (2008):
As an elderly couple, Surya invites Simran to dance, dances with her, seats her back on couche, sits on the floor by her side & gently massages her foot.
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya (2010):
Simbu suddenly wakes up from a nap with a flash of an idea. Goes to Ganesh and says “Luck favors brave illa. Luck favors the intelligent. Tomorrow is Sunday, so let’s focus on church”. This by itself was smart enough. The next line by Ganesh made it out right brilliant! “Indha oorla veedungala vida church dhaan neraya iruku..” An example of how self aware GVM is of his own plot holes and letting other characters poke holes at his hero’s lines.
Nadunisi Naigal (2011):
<Skip> (Sometimes you push boundaries and become a pioneer. Sometimes you push boundaries and get burnt. This one, for me, falls in the latter category)
Neethane En Ponvasandham (2012):
The teaser moment: Samantha & Jiiva sit in a terrace. She sings “.. Oru raja vaazhkai naalai nam sondham.” He corrects “un sondham”. She says “apo naan gaaaali” with a few extra a’s.
Yennai Arindaal (2015):
In the unakenna venum song, the daughter writes a msg for her mom in a helium balloon and sends it up. The nice touch was, there would be a small spelling mistake in it and she would correct it with a ^ in between.
Acham Enbadhu Madamaiyada (2016):
While Simbu and Manjima are watching TV late at night, she says she’s a tad hungry, noting that it’s 12am and they had dinner at 8pm (which itself was a surprise to me, as she cared to explain that). Simbu goes to the kitchen and gets her something. What caught my attention was what he gets. Had he got just a chocolate, it would’ve been “just ok”. Had he made omelette or dosa, it would’ve been “too much”. Instead, he gets an ice cream with some fruit toppings – which suggests that he cares to put in some effort to make it, but not showing all his cards (yet)..
Ennai Noki Payum Thotta (2019):
Hey Nijame song in soul-soothing voice of Bombay Jayshree. Tough luck that it got overshadowed by Maruvarthai.
Skipping his shorts in Navarasa (2021), Puthum pudhu kaalai (2020), Kutty Story (2021) & Paava kadhaigal (2020) and other language features
Vendhu thanindhadhu kaadu (2022):
Mallipoo song – humanizing everyone in the room, even if they’re goons. Simbu is hardly even there in the song.
Thanks, G, for these moments. Happy 50th birthday! May this be a special birthday. (Mathematically, it already is: your DOB adds to your age: 25/2/23 → 25+2+23=50 :D)
– A fan of GVM, before he became GVM, or even GM (who was credited as just ‘Gautham’ in Minnale)