Frame(s) #7 : Aishwarya Rajesh framed within frames

In her young career, Aishwarya Rajesh has boldly played an interesting range of characters, often depicted on the screen with frames within frames. This visual technique is very meaningful as it shows little painting canvas, like a secondary plot within the main plot, as it expresses the nature or the destiny of the characters who feel trapped, isolated, fantasized by others.


In fact, this makes sense in Aishwarya Rajesh’s filmography. Whether it’s Amudha in Attakathi, Sornam in Rummy, the mother in Kaaka muttai or Anbu Selvi in Dharmadurai, all these women have something in common : their life seems to be a trap. The single mother in Kaaka Muttai tries to make ends meet, living in the promiscuity of a tiny one-room slum house with her sons and their grandma. Amudha in Attakathi first appears to Dinakaran’s (Dinesh) sight, framed in the house with the hero’s mother whom she helps preparing food, as house keeping is assigned to women and as if the hero’s mother was her future self. Rummy Sornam and Dharmadurai Anbu Selvi’s frames augur a more tragic end : these girls are symbolic prisoners of their village social pressure, which is a barrier to their lovestory and takes the form of a dowry request or a familial ban of love.

As a matter of fact, frames within frames are a efficient way used by tamil filmmakers to show how women are trapped in men’s world, confined to domestic spaces, and how they are perceived as fantasized beings, framed in very symbolic doorways, oppressed in a patriarchal society. I have the feeling that Kausalya in Kanaa would escape many traps. Waiting to watch her emancipation on screen.

Shakila Z.