May 20, 2005

Kana Kandaen - Review

(Pic adopted from BehindWoods)

Kana Kandaen, a romantic thriller, comes as a refreshing change to most of the movies released this year so far. It is good to see a famous cinematographer like KV Anand choosing a different and solid story for his debut movie.

The movie starts with Srikanth visiting a village to attend his childhood friend, Gopika’s marriage. The night before marriage, Gopika is forced to leave the village to Chennai with her trusted friend because she finds that her husband is a rogue. While staying with each other, they come to realize their unexpressed love for each other. Sri, in the meanwhile, completes his Ph.D. – his work is on “Desalination of sea water” – his dream project since childhood to help our water-scarce country solve its water problem. He is frustrated and clueless when he sees no one willing to help him and that’s when Gopika meets her college mate Prithviraj. In the meanwhile, Gopika and Sri get married to each other.

Prithvi is a rich and famous guy who works as a ‘business consultant’ to reputed companies. Gopika feels that he can be of help and persuades Sri to seek Prithvi’s help for realizing his dream. Sri doesn’t want to sell his idea to any company – he would much rather give it to the government so that people can be directly benefited. Prithvi suggests he can give Sri loan to setup a pilot plant and lends him money. The construction for the plan starts and with it, troubles for Sri and Gopika. Prithvi has a huge tag attached to everything he has done and the couple gradually fall into the trap setup by him. Using forgery, cunningness, man power, influence and lots of brain, Prithvi literally ties them down into what seems as an inescapable bondage.

Prithvi gets gently cruel with each passing scene so much that Gopika is forced to abort her child for the fear of sufferings at the hands of Prithvi. Sri somehow manages to complete his plant and the final deal of Prithvi comes wrangling down Sri’s neck. The climax is on who comes out as the winner.

All the three main characters have performed so well that there seems to be a competition among them. Prithviraj comes first in this race with a terrific performance. Here is a villain who, in the first half, appears so well-mannered, gentle and soft (dances well too!!), while the hero is pretty much like one of us, without any aura of heroism around him. And the female lead is down-to-earth, homely, vulnerable and quite the girl-nextdoor. The transition from friendship to love for the lead pair is so soft and nice and after that.. their love has no inhibitions... the love of so many years bursts out in the form of sexy romance.. a different one in Tamil cinema.. Vivek, in his usual self, raises a few laughs but the family audience who love him so much will start hating him if he continues with vulgar jokes and ‘double-meaning’ dialogues. The lady who plays the role of Sri’s research supervisor is interesting.. but I have never seen anyone quite like her in my 8-9 years of research life. She comes as a welcome difference to bespectacled, bossy and cynical supervisors some movies have shown.

Kudos to Suba, the script writers of short suspense novels fame, and the director for keeping the audience on the edge of the seat for much of the second part. Their years of expertise in writing has helped in some fine twists, encounters and human behavior. Watch out the scene where Sri talks over phone with Prithvi after kidnapping the child. Anand has shown how a good story can be portrayed into a fast-paced movie with little glitches. Among the loopholes, the reason behind Gopika’s marriage cancellation and the “Quantum ChromoDynamics” for desalination (with photons, electrons and quarks being discussed) were quite silly. There could have been better substitutions to both. The cinematography by Sounderrajan is quite good, especially in the romantic songs and stunts. Vidyasagar’s songs remind some AR Rahman’s songs (e.g., ‘chinna chinna’ resembles ‘Thanga thamarai magale’ initially and ‘Thai sollum’ resembles the old song ‘poravale poravale ponnurangam’). But, the picturizations of the romantic songs, esp. ‘Kaalai arumbi’ was great.

Kana Kandaen – Nalla Kanavu.

Grade: B+ for the story, Prithviraj and screenplay.

PS: I have read the novel (5-6 years ago, I think) and it affected me greatly. I was thinking about it for a few weeks.. esp. the Madan character.. How a well-mannered soft-speaking man turns into a devil. SuBa had used one scene to show his gentleness: When Madan and Archana have a coffee the first time they meet, Archana adores his style and manner on how he places the order and how he says "Thank you" to the waiter. After reading that, I used to observe people in the restaurants how they talk to the waiters!!!
One more.. when he first shows his evil face, the scene in the movie didnt come as shocking as I had expected. In the story, Madan lists his service charge beginning the day he had coffee with Archana.. and fuel for the car rides.. Man, that was something.. It could have been used in the movie too.


Vijay said...

Nice review. I had mentioned it before. Kamal and others who derive inspiration from Hollywood repeatedly and then talk of Oscar aspirations must watch movies like this and realize that there is a lot that our own Tamil literature and writers can offer that there is no need to look to the West for inspiration. And even in Hollywood 90% of the movies are adapted from novels.I am happy for KV Anand. Tamil film world can be saved only by good directors/scripts and I hope Anand is here to stay.

Vijay said...

And from his interviews and other net chats Anand seems to be an intelligent , level-headed guy who knows his stuff. Tamil cinema needs more such guys in place of the KS Ravikumars and SA Chandrasekhars.

GP said...

Vijay, you are spot on.. KV Anand might well become the next BaluMahendra.. He surely knows what he does. And, SuBa are here to stay too... their writings are high-quality.. I think, with the success of KK, many more producers and directors might go to the crime novel writers for their scripts... When you blend the imagination of a good novelist and the innovativeness of a good director, the product would be a nice entertaining cinema.

Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » »

shoop said...


I was wondering if you know where I might find this film... or the novel even. I am having some trouble locating it online.

Thank you,

Caleb said...

So, I don't really believe it may have success.