“Kanne Kalaimaane”… A subdued relationship drama that could have used more life

Posted on February 22, 2019

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Spoilers ahead…

Kanne Kalaimaane, written by Seenu Ramasamy, is what you’d call a nice film. The hero, Kamalakannan (Udhayanidhi Stalin), is nice. He’s a farmer. He owns acres of property. He also helps others in need. And, at a pinch, he can participate in a nice little conversation about the NEET exam. The heroine, Bharathi (Tamannaah), is nice. She’s the manager of a Madurai bank. She won’t use the office vehicle for personal travel. Even when getting married, she’d rather wait for a bank holiday than take a day off. And, at a pinch, she can participate in a nice little conversation about handloom weavers. The director is nice, too. He doesn’t go for cheap romance or comedy or (for the most part) drama. There’s dignity, maturity in the way he brings Bharathi and Kamalakannan together. They aren’t kids. This isn’t about “If my folks say no, let’s run away and get married”. This is about “If they say no, maybe we can still be friends”.

I wished one of the new-gen Malayalam filmmakers had made this movie, with a much better cast. Udhayanidhi and Tamannaah are solid and subdued — but too solid, too subdued. They are like students studying really hard to make good marks. The filmmaking gives that feeling, too. There’s no flair. Nice doesn’t have to mean bland. Vadivukkarasi and ‘Poo’ Ramu (both terrific) play Kamalakannan’s grandmother and father. They, too, are nice — but they have some shades that you want to see explored some more. You don’t want a villain. You just want some texture. And not the overblown melodrama towards the closing stretch, which includes a ridiculous action scene and a Yuvan Shankar Raja song that underscores the final development a little too obviously. But the end is nice. I didn’t dislike the film. At times I quite liked it. It flows gently and unpredictably, like life. I just wished it felt more alive.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil