Bama Vijayam ★★★★

deceptively light early balachander comedy - glamorous film actress bama moves in next to a well-off joint family and they start to disintegrate just by her vague proximity (that she is totally down to earth and kind is a sort of structural joke in and of itself).

like all the early balachander films i've seen this definitely suggests his theater roots but that's hardly a problem; the very careful delineation of interior spaces and attention to blocking are wonderful here. for all the verbal invention most of the best comedy comes from very tight arrangements of gesture. and the songs, especially the famous sequence where nagesh leaps through paintings into genre film scenarios, point towards a visual exuberance that would start to characterize balachander's films in the early '70s and on.