Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban, with Suresh Ravi and Raveena Ravi: A chilling psychological drama about a man who stands up to the System

Posted on November 26, 2020

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There’s a lot of rock-solid writing by writer-director RDM. After what seems like ages, I watched a film that’s genuinely unpredictable, and not in a gimmicky way. 

Spoilers ahead…

At first, I thought Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban — presented by Vetri Maaran — was a psycho-thriller: as in, a thriller with a “psycho” killer on the loose. Look at the signs. There’s a captive, moaning in unimaginable pain. There’s the position this captive is found in, something that feels almost fetishistic. There’s the pair of handcuffs. There’s the sickly yellow glare that surrounds this captive. There are the signs of dust and disuse all around, which suggest we are somewhere far from civilisation. Slowly, we see that this evaluation of the film may not be too off the mark. We are still in a psycho-thriller: as in, a psychological thriller. And the foundation of the drama that plays out is one of the pillars of civilisation as we know it today: the police force that’s meant to keep society in good health, failing which there’s only anarchy.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil