Article by Sankeertana Dantuluri
The scene actually begins with Prashanth and a brush in his mouth. A crisp contrast to Chitra, who is already on her way to start a business. The fact that her duppata, something that is supposed to be flowing and be in the way of things, is ironed and stays stiffly on her shoulder as an indication of her character. So is Prashanth’s shorts, with the untied threads hanging just as aimless as him. She begins talking about a food truck business and even though he agrees that it’s a good idea, he is now above them by his own admission. He uses the word ‘kasthalu’ (problems) while talking about the idea of a job. So, in his opinion a job is something you do to get money and nothing else. And this visibly ticks Chitra off.
Still, she ventures to give him some free advice. ‘Free’ being a deliberate choice, and is meant to pass a jab at his desire to make money without working for it. She talks about how his idea of marriage and dowry are wrong, to which he reacts the way you’d expect him to. She still persists to which he says that some of us aren’t meant for hard work. She gives him her number, just in case, and he tears up the paper and writes his own on the back. The pen falls and he leaves without picking it up, because he is late for his ‘date’.
This scene is important because, it sets the mood for the rest of the film and it clearly establishes the character arc of the protagonists, while still being fun to watch. Chitra and Prashanth are meeting outside the marriage setup. They aren’t strangers anymore, but they don’t know each other that well either. Prashanth isn’t the same agreeable guy who said charming things to her in her room, and Chitra isn’t the understanding, approachable person she was either. Even though they both want the same things in life, they both have different ways of achieving them. When Chitra doesn’t get what she wants, she starts to get condescending. This doesn’t sit well with Prashanth, who is used to listening to these kinds of lectures. He is a proud individual, who is too lazy to stand for himself, but still proud. Which explains the phone number stunt that says, ‘You need me, I don’t’, without actually saying it.
Another reason why this scene is important is because of all that went into making it this remarkable. The camera is stationary when Chitra is in the frame, and restless/moving when it comes to Prashanth. Even the camera movements are mirroring the characters. Chitra mostly wears primary colors in the film and, in comparison, Prashanth and her ex-boyfriend mostly wear pastels and beige. Chitra is stronger than the both men, and the colors help convey that message. In this particular scene though, her yellow tunic is used so well to light the frame up. And the wayward humming in the back adds whimsy to the grim proceedings. The singer’s tone is coy and knowing, and the lightness in it is supposed to suggest that this bitterness between them is merely a prelude to something that’s just as whimsical.
Originally posted on HERE
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