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Kanavu Variyam Movie Reviews

Kanavu Variyam Movie Rating: 4/5

Directed by Arun Chidambaram
Produced by Dr. A. Chidambaram
Karthik Chidambaram
Starring Arun Chidambaram
Jiya Shankar
Yog Japee
Music by Shyam Benjamin
Cinematography S. Selvakumar
Edited by Gaugin

DCKAP Cinemas
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
24 February 2017
Country India
Language Tamil

The makers of Kanavu Variyam have been promoting their movie with posters showing that it was screened at various International festivals.

But unfortunately, we feel that it is an amateurish docudrama on decentralization and urges people to follow organic farming for a better future. Though the intentions of director Arun Chidambaram is laudable, his bumbling execution is a spoiler.

The film has two parallel characters— one played by Arun Chidambaram, who shows more interest in scientific experiments and decides to help his village, which has been suffering from frequent power cuts while the other character played by Yog Japee shifts his focus from a well paid MNC job to organic farming.

What we understand here is that noble intentions does not make a good movie. Yes, Arun Chidambaram can be appreciated for dealing a topical theme but apart from that, the film has too many negative points to test the patience of audiences, who will be definitely feel cheated by all the award tags decorating the posters and trailers of the film.
Arun Chidambaram has a good concept since deals with power cut problem which is easily relatable to people, and a lot of social concern which is evident from very many dialogues about the greatness of organic farming, innovative thinking and to live for one’s ambitions.

The film starts off with the lengthy establishment of the lead character and his background. The separate romance track is less imaginative while the comedy track is somewhat okay as Black Pandi manages to raise a few guffaws here and there.

There is a parallel track of a corporate employee (Yog Japi) who leaves his lucrative job to take up organic farming in his native village. The writer-director seems to be having a lot to say in just one film. The dialogues in these portions are of course laudable. They even evoke claps from the audience. But giving such a long screen time for these portions in a film about power scarcity isn’t properly justified by the script.

There are quite a few likeable ideas and scenes throughout the film. But the scenes belonging to different tracks- the ones connected to the main plot, the romance track, the comedy track and the scenes about organic farming- aren’t properly juxtaposed. This structuring problem heavily mars the impact of ‘Kanavu Variyam’.

The director Arun himself has played the lead role and if he really has intentions to achieve anything as an actor he has to undergo rigorous training sessions in histrionics and dialogue delivery. Jiya Shankar fits the bill for an urbanized girl living in a village.

Yog Japi impresses with a character that is in complete contrast to what he has done so far. Ilavarasu comes up with yet another neat performance as a father who understands and accommodates the ambitions of his son.

Gnanasambandam who is a professor in real life too, has been used for giving some generic lectures about the importance of learning and hard work.

Shyam Benjamin’s songs are easy on the ears with some noteworthy lyrical lines by Arun Chidambaram. Background score is apt throughout the film. Cinematographer Selvakumar has done a neat job with innovative angles and selection of lights and tones.

Verdict: ‘Kanavu Vaariyam’ has a few likeable scenes and a lot of lectures. More focus on the structuring of the script and better performance from the lead actor would have created a much better impact

A spontaneous actor, Chidambaram subtly brings out the various nuances as Ezhil’s character travels through its various phases. The romantic angle is touched on, where Ezhil falls for Veena (Jiya), the sister of Gopi. Veena’s character travels with Ezhil, supportive of his efforts. The song ‘Kalla Manna..’ which refers to the traditional, forgotten games of rural Tamilnadu, is well written and picturised.

The film has its share of minor glitches. The dream song thrust in and the comic backstory of a character, seem like unwanted distractions. When many of our makers look towards the West for inspiration, it is heartwarming that the U.S. based-Chidambaram has turned to the rural scenario and the issues faced by the villagers as his debut work. A feel-good entertainer about chasing one’s dreams, the film inspiring and motivating, is worth a watch by both adults and children.

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