This is a good movie but one that you keep putting off because its so sad.
The first half shows the fiscal troubles that beset a poor, upright man trying to do the best for his family.He works night and day; his wife and he take very little for themselves and their only pleasure is in giving it to their two sons. What sets this father slightly above the rest is that he is willing to go to any length to do the best for his sons. And keeps thinking ahead of what is best for them. The scene where he cycles in the burning heat to the next town with the two boys to give them a better education all the while instructing them in tidbits of knowledge gets etched in memory mostly due to Raj Kiran's wonderful deep voice.
The boys of course don't realise the extent of their parent's sacrifices for them and take them for granted. So hurt and tribulation pile up on the old couple.
Cheran is driving home a message here.How wonderful it is for children to live with their grandparents and bask in their loving care. And what a loving son can be.
My only grouse is he's neglected to etch out the character of his wife. Although she is professionally educated and has a job; she hardly matters except as 'wife' and 'daughter-in-law'.
Recently my sister was sighing because she couldn't be in two places at the same time and saying maybe she needs a driver/helpful man to do some of her jobs. And I thought that before we had grandfathers, brothers and cousins around the house who could be deputed to do these jobs. Now, with nuclear families we have to pay and find someone to do them.
We had Thatha, a gentle, kind man who could be depended on to escort us to libraries or shops and buy us the pencil/geometry box secretly to replace the one we'd lost. And chocolates too. And be ready at a moment's notice to read us the comic strips and tell us long stories.
Grandma took us to movies , temples , shopping and wherever one needed a backup to fight a battle.
Mama s were around to tell jokes and cheer us up when we were in the sloughs after a fight or after being thoroughly scolded.
Athais cooked whatever we desired at that moment cheerfully and happily.
My mom never stepped into a shop or paid a bill all her life. She had all these people around to do her bidding. Of course she looked after them in return.
It does seem a good life in those days filled with the comfort of people.
But are we willing to go back? I don't think so.