KANNAN VARUVAAN

A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam


Cast: Karthik, Divya Unni, Raasi, Koundamani, Senthil, Manorama, Ranjit, Radharavi, Kazhan Khan
Music: Sirpy
Direction: Sundar C

Sundar C is probably one of the most proficient directors in the tamil cinefield today. He churns out movies regularly and news items always talk about him being involved in two or more projects at any time. Unfortunately, quantity and quality are not the same thing. Ever since the breezy comedy classic Ullathai Alli Thaa, his products have been on the downslide on the quality scale with attempted comedies like Unakkaaga Ellaam Unakkaaga being even further dips in the graph. His latest venture with his favorite hero Karthik, though not as moronic as some of his earlier movies, still doesn't point to any change in direction in the quality of his movies.

Kannan(Karthik) is an architect, who is working hard to finish work on a temple in his village. He falls in love with Parvati(Divya Unni), who is working there. Meanwhile, an old woman, Ranganaayagi(Manorama), in a neighboring village is awaiting the arrival of her grandson from America. Circumstances force Kannan to pose as the visiting grandson. Though initially planning to stay for a short period, the woman's love makes Kannan stay on. The woman's niece Rajeswari(Raasi) falls for him while Parvati also arrives at the house.

The movie chugs on merrily until the concluding portions. As long it treats issues lightheartedly, the movie is atleast entertaining, even if it doesn't offering anything novel or special. But the climax proves to be its undoing. It alters the tone of the movie and looks like it belongs in another movie. It is violent and bloody and offers an unsatisfying solution in the name of sentiments and an unexpected ending. Easily one of the most miscalculated endings in recent times.

The theme of an impostor entering another home and winning over the hearts of the people in the house has been seen several times before and Sundar doesn't strive to offer anything new. Ofcourse Karthik has to be completely goldhearted(never mind the fact that he is hiding news of the grandson's death from the grandmother and impersonating him!). So we have scenes like Karthik and Manorama feeding each other and Manorama bequeathing all her wealth to him. The scene where Karthik fulfils her longtime wish is the only sweet one. There is also the village 'thiruvizha'(has there ever been a rural movie without one of these?!) which Karthik promises to help hold.

The love triangle involving Karthik, Divya Unni and Raasi isn't developed fully. The initial romance between Karthik and Divya has some nice moments like the first scene where she describes herself to him. Later, the couple of scenes where Karthik ends up conveying the wrong impressions to Raasi while trying to talk to Divya are believable. But the happenings are completely predictable and Sundar doesn't sway from the expected path even once. He does so in the climax but considering solution he offers, we wish he hadn't.

Inspite of Koundamani and Senthil, the movie lacks any real laughs. The pair sure has fallen a long way from Karagaattakkaaran. There are a couple of places where some 'kadi' jokes find their mark but the comedy landscape is quite barren otherwise. The introduction of the second Koundamani(in the form of a brother for Karthik's friend) decreases the laughs by half instead of doubling it. So you can guess what happens when a third Koundamani in introduced in the form of the brothers' father in two scenes.

Karthik has nothing much to do in the light role. Divya Unni, a Malayalam import, looks extremely sweet. Her acting talents aren't stretched too much but she performs well enough in the limited role. Raasi(previously Manthra, who has apparently undergone a name change since her stint in the Telugu world) doesn't have much to do.