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February 7, 2012

Tamil Movie : Keladi Kanmani

Filed under: Tamil Movies — Tags: , , , , — krishnafromtoronto @ 8:26 pm

I know, I know. This is a really old movie and I am reviewing it late. Got it.

Interesting movie, though. The storyline is different from the run of the mill movies. The treatment could have been a lot better. The movie is regarding a kind hearted man, who lives quietly with his daughter when his wife dies, and in whose life a girl comes, who, even despite himself, steals his heart.

The introduction of the movie is stupid, where the college boy stops a school bus pretending to be a terrorist / pirate and then they all go for a dance! You are slumped in your couch/ chair/ bed (depending on where you are watching the movie from, when the movie takes off and the monkey tricks introduced for the sake of the movie are forgotten.)

Well, the movie does not take off very high, because the theme is simple, but at least it holds your interest. Much of the first part of the movie is a kind of romantic competition for one upmanship between Sashi (Ramesh Aravind) and Anju (Anju Aravind, ostensibly no relationship).  Mildly interesting, at least you have not dozed off.

The main story unfolds slowly, with serendipitous meeting by Sashi in Bangalore of Sharada (Radhika) before coming to know later that she was almost the stepmother for Anju. Anju regrets breaking up his father’s love for Sharada and, when, in true Tamil cinematic fashion, she learns that she has a serious condition called bilateral renal artery stenosis (Renal? Then why were they looking at cat scans of her brain?). Her father, the AR Rangaraj (the legend SPB) is the quiet widower, whose wife died of a disease when Anu was young and who fell for Sharada.

Sharada’s love was not to be: due to resistance from Anu, who was five at that time, not accepting anyone in her mother’s place. They separate and the deaf-mute (another nod to cinematic melodrama) parents die together in a suicide pact, unable to face the fact that their only daughter will never be married now. (All serious scenes, no parody intended)

The romance is interesting, with the “kinda” comic (ie intended comedy as opposed to unintended, as in the previous paragraph) portrayal by Janakaraj, who also is in love with Sharada.

The movie goes rapidly downhill towards the end, where Anu sends Shashi and a friend to find Sharada, and she is about to go to the airport to catch a flight to leave “for America forever”. (Again, no comedy intended). They go around in circles with coincidences galore in the vein of a PG Wodehouse book, until everything is resolved to everybody’s satisfaction.

The only nod to reality seems to be the open ended finish of the film, without you knowing whether she will survive the necessary operation or not. (But the disease is said to cause only Blood Pressure in people. Why the danger to life? Why the operation? Please do not ask relevant questions such as these)

The interesting things are unintended. First, Ramesh Aravind, who is a famous Kannada star, visits Bangalore and, when addressed in Kannada by Radhika, says he does not understand (and is incapable of learning) Kannada! They switch to Tamil.

The second surprise is that SPB cannot emote as well as you would expect! He has underplayed the character but, in my opinion, too much underplay, not the studied masterly underplay of  SV Ranga Rao of yore or Kamalhasan more recently.

And finally, Mannil Indha Kadhal Inri looks visually as impressive as it sounds on audio – a masterly composition, fabulously rendered.

All in all, due to some redeeming features, let us say, a 3/10

— Krishna

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