The fifth episode of Modern Love Chennai, directed by Bharathiraja, Paravai Kootil Vaazhum Maangal, loosely translated to “Gazelles that reside in a bird’s nest,” takes the viewers through a whirlwind story of marriage, infidelity, and divorce. How easy or hard is it to decide to get out of a marriage? How hard is it to make a decision that would change the course of your life?
Modern Love Chennai Episode 5 begins with Revathi heading out with her kids to drop them off at school. Meanwhile, Rohini is stressed out about a phone call. The two women are connected at that point, and as the episode goes on, we get to see how that works. The story goes back to a while ago when Rohini and Ravi ran into each other inside the Chennai metro over a tiny confusion regarding their phones, which are of the same model and have the same ringtone. Their meet-cute was this simple. But soon, they both look out for each other in the metro and share glances and acknowledgements. As the days go by, the two of them spend a lot of time talking, walking, and sharing stories from their lives.
Days and weeks go by, and there is no stopping Ravi and Rohini from getting to know each other better. Ravi loves being around Rohini, and vice versa. One day in the metro, unbeknownst to Ravi, Rohini spots him with his wife and children. Rohini is heartbroken over her fate, but she does not stop hanging out with him. She still loves being around him, and Ravi goes all the way to prove that he loves her. They both know they are in a precarious situation because Ravi is married with kids. His falling in love with another woman means he would not just have to go through a divorce and custody battle, but first and foremost, he would have to break his wife’s heart, who has been nothing but a good mother and a loyal wife to him. Their only problem so far seems to be a lack of communication between the two, and the gap has widened ever since his relationship with Rohini. Ravi knows infidelity is not right, but falling in love happened so organically and without any hassle that he did not realize Rohini would become such an important part of his life. Rohini also does not push him to leave his family and be with her. She always lets him know that she will stick to any decision he makes. Ravi finally lets Rohini know that he intends to leave his wife, and he wants to let her know about his relationship with Rohini. Rohini again asks him to do what is right for him, as this situation is very tricky, and she wouldn’t want him to make any decision based on any outside force. She would want Ravi to make a sound decision so that it does not affect their lives from here on.
The reason Rohini was a little disturbed at the beginning of Modern Love Chennai Episode 5 is that she has been invited by Ravi and Revathi to their home to discuss their relationship and how to move forward with it, keeping in mind Ravi and Revathi have kids as well. Rohini is not sure why she is being invited or how her opinion matters when it comes to their marriage. She always wanted Ravi to make a sound decision as per what he needed. She would have gone back to her old life if Ravi had decided to live with his wife. She is kept in the dark about why Revathi wants to meet her and why it is important to have her in a discussion. Rohini did not want to be a part of this meeting, but since Revathi had asked for it, she did not want to ignore her request and make a bad impression of herself. She would rather begin her relationship with Revathi on good terms.
What Is The Status Of The Relationship Between Ravi And Rohini By The End?
Rohini reaches Revathi and Ram’s house with some gifts for the kids. She still feels awkward about what her presence would be like in this marriage, which is already on the rocks, as per Ravi. But again, she is curious to see the family. As she reaches his place, the meeting is interrupted by Ravi’s father. He thinks Rohini is only his friend. His father was not invited to the meeting; he came by to pick up the kids. Revathi is surprised to see him, and she ends up telling him that she and Ravi are planning to get divorced as Ravi wants to be with Rohini. Revathi had no choice but to tell him because they were all adults in this situation. The kids were in the other room, which made it easy for her to break the news. Ravi was uncomfortable with the whole situation because he did not want any of these meetings to happen. But Revathi insisted that Rohini should know the full picture of their marriage and the kids before Rohini decided to be a part of the family. Revathi’s only concern is the kids because they are too small to understand the concept of separation and divorce. They are used to having their mother and father together. It only makes sense to come up with a plan that would help a smooth transition without any detailed explanation to the kids. Revathi’s concerns are genuine and understandable. She wants the divorce to be quick, quiet, and smooth, and as an extension to that, she would also like the kids to like Rohini because if they introduce her suddenly, the kids might retaliate and not like this sudden change.
Revathi’s plan turns out to be sensible because children are the most affected during a divorce, and she wouldn’t want that to happen to her kids. She is stern about the fact that the kids would stay with Ravi, and she would be the one walking out because she would not want to change the pattern the kids are used to. Revathi seems to have accepted the fact that her marriage with Ravi is over, and divorce is inevitable. The couple is being civil to each other for the sake of the kids, but one-day proper divorce papers will be signed, and that’s why she wouldn’t want a surprise to befall her kids. Her point in inviting Rohini to this discussion was to make Rohini familiar with life with kids and Ravi. The whole discussion happens between Revathi and Rohini because they will be the ones who have to bear the change. Ravi was slightly uncomfortable, but he knew this day would come. Rohini was invited over to let her know about the home dynamics, what Ravi likes and doesn’t like, and to make her comfortable with the idea of having kids around. It would seem like Revathi wanted to let Rohini know the responsibilities that come with being a wife. Revathi’s intention, on a surface level, does not come across as giving Rohini a reality check, but the kind of words she uses suggest that Rohini is probably not ready for the life she has chosen. Rohini, though, is straightforward and lets her know that the more Revathi speaks about Ravi and the kids, the more it becomes clear that Rohini wants to be a part of this family. She loves Ravi even more now, and there is nothing that could change her mind. Rohini also reveals that her divorce from her husband was not as amicable as this one, and he had put her through a lot of strenuous times. She had a hard time getting out of the marriage, and she is glad to see such understanding between Revathi and Ravi.
Ravi’s father comes across as a traditionalist who is not in favor of the divorce or Ravi getting married to another woman. Ravi is clear on his thoughts and his decision because he truly loves Rohini and doesn’t intend to abandon her. Ravi lets his father know that he would not make such statements if Revathi or Rohini were his daughters. He would have wanted them to be happy and content in life. Ravi comes across as a decisive person who knows what he wants, and he would not want anyone to be upset or heartbroken over his decision. That’s the reason why, just like Revathi, he would want a clean exit from this marriage. Though there is no clean exit, Ravi did cheat on his wife, which does not justify his good conduct. Infidelity is wrong, be it by a man or a woman. Rohini agrees with the fact that the kids would stay with her and Ravi, and she wouldn’t want to cause any trouble in their lives. Their lives are going to change, and Rohini wouldn’t want to make it worse.
The divorce is finally decided, and the concluding scenes in Modern Love Chennai Episode 5 has the kid’s voice-over, who talks about how Rohini came into their lives and became their friend. She visited them often, and soon she started living with them. The mother had to move to Coimbatore and work from there, but things for them have been simple and easy. All of them meet, and Rohini is happy to share her life so far with Ravi and the kids. She finds herself content so far, and the kids have been a blessing. Rohini did not expect this to work so easily and without any hassles. From her experience, divorce can become very nasty, but with them, it was smooth as butter. The episode concludes with Revathi getting on the bus to head back to Coimbatore, as she is working in that city. Her life had changed drastically as well. As she gets onto the bus, she remembers how she and Ravi met on a bus journey, and he had borrowed a book she had on her. Revathi is happy to know that she had some good years with him, and that she happens to be the mother of his children as well. She is moving on and looking forward to a new life.
Modern Love Chennai Episode 5 began with a good premise: talking about marriage, infidelity, and divorce. It seems like this one would be a mature take on what a loved one finds in the later part of their lives, but the story became regressive after a point. The onus of marriage was solely on Revathi and Rohini because they are the women; they need to face the brunt of a marriage that is ending for Revathi, and Rohini must pick up the mantle now that Ravi will be marrying her. Ravi, in the entire scenario, is never questioned about the mistake he made. Falling in love with another woman when he was already married with kids. Ravi was never put at the center of the discussion. The conversation became regressive, redundant, and cringeworthy and emphasized the fact that women, especially housewives, must sacrifice a lot for the greater good.
Modern Love Chennai Episode 5 was such a wasted opportunity. Revathi could have called out Ravi and questioned his decisions and his mistakes, but Ravi was hardly there. The screenplay, because of this, was unnecessarily stretched out, which made the audience impatient. Despite good performances, the story and the screenplay are downright archaic. The director and the writer oversimplified divorce and did not question the extramarital affair part. I wanted this episode, directed by Bharathiraja, to elevate a better discussion on marriage, but sadly, it did not even touch on the surface-level problems of being in a marriage and getting out of one. Second-least favorite episode of the lot.