0.5 out of 5 (Below Average, A Few Good Parts)
Kandathum Kaanadhadhum brings out the irony between the lives of a humane Rapist and an unforgiving rape victim.
Rohit Ramachandran Mon, 21 May 2012
The hero (Vikas) of Kandathum Kaanadhadhum is travelling in a share auto. An obnoxious commoner breaks social norms by making obscene conversation aloud over the phone. A young woman (Swashika) sitting opposite to him foresees the rascal throwing himself on her when the brakes are applied. It doesn't actually happen but in her mind, it already has and she wishes he gets the deserved comeuppance. The hero, the woman and the rascal; they all get off at the same stop and incidentally they also study in the same college. The hero beats the rascal up in the men's room and once again, the woman intuits it before it happens. She sees the rascal coming out with a dent on his face and the hero walking away like a commoner. She falls for him.
The hero and heroine make conversations. As if their plebeian conversations weren't an example of unsophisticated screenwriting, the filming of it is far worse- the editing is terrible, the takes are incredibly short, zoomed in from limited angles and the camera never moves. There's no continuity in their conversation. It is filmed sentence by sentence, too obvious for the viewer to remain lodged in the film. The next stage of their relationship begins with the heroine reciting a poem to the hero. He reciprocates.
So far, so banal. It gets mildly interesting from here. The hero's family heads off to the United States leaving him home alone. He borrows a book from his friend and accidentally slipped into it is a pornographic magazine. All innocence is lost and this twenty year-old mind gets 'corrupted' by his first ever sexual thought. Wouldn't it be nice to decide when to hit puberty? When we're ready, we could buy this hormone injecting magazine. His first encounter with his sexuality is interrupted by a door bell. The heroine walks in. Bad timing, he forces himself on her. It's an unsuccessful rape attempt but she escapes leaving a card behind. Inscribed in it is a colourful love poem dedicated to him.
When the film finally begins to roll, Soori and his sidekicks make jokes about unfaithful wives committing adultery. The film is now about the aftermath of the incident. A music number that forces her to get in touch with the victim archetype is played so that she feels powerless and afraid. He's gnawed by feelings of guilt but he's more regretful that he has spoiled his only chance of having an intimate relationship with her. And according to filmmaker Seelan, he's more affected by the incident than her. He follows her like an abandoned pet trying to get himself to apologize while she, on the other hand, is going around town visiting temples and buying saris, happy and ecstatic like it never happened.
The heroine's friend plays agony aunt lecturing her to forgive him. She responds, as a way of getting back at him, "avanoda characterae suthama pudikala." ROFL.
For some weird reason, there's a scene of her uncle being introduced to him as a criminal lawyer who has brought death penalty to two rowdies. It brings a proud smile to his face, because his lover's uncle is a good guy. Seriously, what is life to Director Seelan? Is he even living in our world? I wouldn't be surprised if he was an alien from another planet telling us about the lives of other aliens. Making matters worse is Seelan's attempt at surrealism. How much of what we see is part of the hero's imagination and how much of it is real? Guess what, we don't care.
In Seelan's eyes, Kandathum Kaanadhadhum is a tragic love story between a rapist and his victim. The victim is to blame for not forgiving her rapist. He believes he brings out a certain irony in the final scene that has the heroine in a "Just Married" car passing by an ambulance with the dead body of the hero.
What did the producers see before they made such an investment? It couldn't be the story, the characters or the storyteller who tells us this petty story. What, then? The physical attributes of the human beings who will spread themselves out to the camera. They saw some charm in the hero and a sex appeal in the heroine- those are the assets that the producers have invested in. Things in Kollywood are that pathetic. Popular songs from yesteryear are played to get the audience to scream in support. They'll do whatever they can do to sell crap. Along with the presence of films, such as Vettai, that recycle old Kollywood products (when they could be redefining them), there are always films like Kandathum Kaanadhadhum that exist as the refuse of these digested old products.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
0.5 out of 5 (Below Average, A Few Good Parts)