Gypsy - Citizen of the world!
A group of people gathered around a televsion set are watching an India vs Pakistan cricket match. Kohli hits a fifty and Jiiva cheers. This is followed by a run out and Jiiva cheers again. So which side is he supporting? In the following scene he tells the heroine that India and Pakistan are the same for him. Essentially he is just cheering the sport on display and sees no boundaries (not the cricketing one). Raju Murugan's Gypsy is the tale of a man who is a citizen of the world and identifies himself as a human. A much needed message in these times but does Gypsy work as a film?
At the heart of Gypsy is a love story around which Rajamurugan tries to pack in a lot of social commentary. You nod in agreement with everything and the message about love and humanity is pertinent in the times we live in. But the love story between Jiiva and Natasha Singh never really sucks us in and is treated superficially. We hardly feel their bond and so when riots throw the two away from each other, the yearning the two are supposed to feel never translates to us. Raju Murugan is more interested in what is happening around these two and this in a way never lets us close enough to the love story.
Jiiva as always comes up with an effortless performance. He is one actor who is so casual on screen. Hardly anyone else makes an impact. No character has significant screentime and the ploy to have them speak in various languages and to dub it in Tamil also dilutes the impact. Better performances and character arcs would have made a huge difference to Gypsy from what it is now. The climax is about how a person who kills during the riots and someone who is traumatized by the riots face each other. The former has undergone a transformation. But all these stay merely as ideas and the emotional impact that we ought to have felt is missing. Even a powerful and sort of a massy scene where Jiiva gives it back to a policeman who refuses to let him use the toilet doesn't give the high it is supposed to give.
The film as a whole is like a collection of scenes put together and there is no real flow a such. How much of this is due to the cuts by the censor is hard to tell. A young girl in burqa applying lipstick before going to meet her guy, a horse playing an important character being named Che,the tongue in cheek humour on the futility of religion, not taking sides as a Tamilian/Kannadiga/Hindu/Muslim - Raju Murugan makes his presence felt in these places. But these remain as highlights in a film whose focus keeps shifting.
The film also reminds us of Mehndi Circus which Raju Murugan had written. And much like that film the music here plays a key role here and Santosh Narayanan plays his part superbly.
An extremely important message at this point of time but Gypsy falls short of creating an emotional impact.