Kadhantharam Malayalam Movie ReviewFeature Film
There have been films galore on parents being abandoned in their old age by thankless children and 'Kadhantharam' faithfully adheres to the theme for its most part. Devoid of any surprises, the film plays out as a deadening yarn that had originally set out to achieve something dissimilar to the customary, but which falls short of its objective by a mile!
Rajaram (Nedumudi Venu) is a retired government employee who is disappointed that his only son Sidharth (Rahul Madhav) has decided to opt for a career abroad. Left alone in Kerala, Rajaram and his ailing wife (Geetha Vijayan) awaits the return of their son, the former pretending indifference and the latter all too concerned.
The film itself is divided into three parts, that serve more as an embellishment than anything else, and the story is narrated in flashbacks b y Rajaram himself, who has landed at an old age home. His mates at the home are seemingly enthralled at his tale, though it isn't much different from their stories.
The twist at the very end must supposedly have been intended as the table turner in this film. But there is very little that is startling in this sudden change of affairs. It should however be admitted that the best part of the film is positively the climax that offers a change in perspectives and which suggests that truth could be far off one's perceptions.
This does not however compensate for the elaborate narrative that precedes the climax, that often borders on the bland. There are the several instances at the laughter club that Rajaram becomes a member of, that are purportedly intended to bring in a smile or two, but which serve none of its purpose.
There is a parallel romantic track that involves Sidharth and Shivani (Vishnupriya) that is never properly built up. Shivani does come across as the all-understanding fiance who stands by her man through thick and thin, and who gets to bear the flak for it. Since there is very little that is felt in his whole romance, their separation does not make us miserable either.
There is also a surplus of dramatics in the film, most of which occurs at the old age home that is run by a doc (Sidharth Siva) who promises to set things right for Rajaram. There is also the issue of predictability that persists throughout, and it almost feels after a while that the film has nothing much to offer other than one pedestrian scenario after the other.
Nedumudi Venu carries the whole film on his shoulders, and occupies almost the entire screen time. Yet another staunch performance from the seasoned actor is supplemented by a surprisingly mature act by Geetha Vijayan, who has for long been relegated to insignificant roles. Rahul Madhav and Vishnupriya lend abundant support as well.
'Kadhantharam' does not keep its promise of delivering the mother of all twists, and instead just about makes do with a tiny surprise at the very end. Tremendously inadequate to make an impression, this final revelation does not retrieve the film from the clutter that makes up the rest of it.