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A Fan-Girl Analysis of Colors and Lights Used in Ok Kanmani

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So Katru Veliyidai’s teaser is out and I have already seen it more than fifty times, an overdose of Mani is always refreshing. That’s when I decided I should visit April,2015. Again.

That’s right, Mani’s last film, Ok Kanmani.

What happens when you see a film more than 20-25 times?

You start noticing the intricacies and very little details in the film. In short, you start analyzing the film you love. When I did all the above things with Ok Kanmani, I found the reasons as to why I love this film. To be honest it’s not for the story line or the romance, I don’t fall for that.

I loved the film because it had class, and by that I don’t mean the richness the film had in terms of its characters or props, I mean the class in the effort put for the film. From the acting, direction, music to camera, lights and colors, everything in the film is class apart. Everything solves a purpose and dances together to bring the magic alive. Each of it tells the story in the way it knows best.

Mani and PC are masters of metaphors, aren’t they? From a little signboard, everything the duo incorporates in the movie tells something, and Ok Kanmani was their comeback gift to audience after Alaipayuthey. The colors and lights of the film are not only mesmerizing and pleasing to the eyes, but also travels with the characters telling their story. How exactly?

Lights and colors of OKK

The film involves three colors predominantly- Red, Yellow and Green. Sometimes grey and blue are also used to explain sad and emotional situations. Now one may ask that these are the basic primary colors, hence what’s so unique? Well the answer is, OKK uses only these colors and nothing else. Each color delivers a meaning to the film. Before getting on to that, let’s look at the lighting of the film.

Backlight’s magic

P.C chooses to light up his characters and their backgrounds. No scene is dull scene. Every scene is filled with warm light and mostly all characters are highlighted with the help of backlight which gives them a glow, that makes us enjoy and admire the character. There is extensive use of backlight in all scenes. A vivid and clear picture of the character and their feature is highlighted.

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The Play with shadows.

Another amazing technique incorporated by P.C in the film is the usage of shadows. While many try to adjust lights to avoid shadows, he uses them all to his advantage. The sense of reality that they give is phenomenal. It’s never disturbing as one might expect it to be, well let’s take a look. okk5okk6One major point to notice is that the whole film is majorly in yellow lighting, the house, their train journeys, the church scene, their wedding- everything is yellow. It’s like everything happens in the clear morning sunshine that represents the character’s mindset beautifully. Every character of the movie is clear with what they want and this is where the other colors start to matter whenever they appear, because there is a reason.

Red, Yellow and Green

So, each of these colors serve two purposes,

One- they are associated with the character or storyline

Two- they show the progress in the relationship.

Let’s discuss the former,

The color red is mostly associated with Adi (Dulquar), while green with Tara (Nithya).

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So why the color red? Maybe it is used to represent his character, a fun and bright person who is always at the center stage for whatever he does. Notice how his brother is all protective, family man and he is the charm.

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Tara’s workplace, her hostel room, her clothes are all in green, this might be to represent that she is natural and real, she never adapts but is individual wherever she goes. While there are other colors, her green stands out as she does.

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Now the beautiful metaphor used in the movie is how these two colors mix once after they move in, the completely white bed of Adi changes colors, look here:

There she is with her green, and he with his red, it symbolizes how they have blend together to make things work. And soon, Adi starts wearing more green and she red.

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As you can see, yellow is always there progressing with the story.

Now the second idea behind these colors, to show the progress in their relationship,

Red is used as when the relationship starts to bloom, when they begin something new, while green is used whenever they go one step ahead in their relationship.

The perfect justification would be the lodge board light which switches between green and red as they plan to stay the night, and finally turns green when they settle on sharing one room, we all know how that part played a major role in their relationship.

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This major red and light card is played in the song Parandhu Sellava, whenever Adi tries to get close, its red, while in some cases she denies, the color is yellow and when she falls for him it is green.

okk17okk18But at the end of the song, when most expect for them to make love, the song ends as the light goes down indicating nothing really is going to happen.

And logically when they do make love, the scene is green,

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The next step in relationship happens when they have their first fight as a couple, when the other realizes the amount of care they have,

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Throughout the movie, the process between red and green is shown in yellow, when one is reluctant and they don’t move ahead the scene ends with yellow light.

Greys and Blues

Greys and blues are used when there is sadness playing around, P.C incorporates similar color as he did in Evano oruvan from Alaipayuthey.

The song, Theera Ulla is completely either grey or blue and so is the climax scene where they deal with their emotions, of course color changes as their minds do.

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In conclusion, Ok Kanmani is one of a kind movie, if not for the obvious love story, for its FILMMAKING. It has more than 100 lessons to teach us when we try to picture a beautiful cinema. I can write at least 5 articles on it easily but at the end of the day I do know some of these points might be wrong, these are observations of a fan girl who can never get over of this movie. Feel free to contradict and have a healthy discussion in the comments below.

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