Kavan movie review: Vijay Sethupathi's latest takes a dig at Arnab Goswami types, 'breaking news'
director: KV Anand
In Kavan, director KV Anand has zoomed into the topical world of TRP-driven news channels, sting operations, paid news and the ‘Breaking News’ syndrome. Vijay Sethupathi is an idealist television anchor who wants to clean up the corrupt system prevailing in television channels which are only looking at eyeballs and revenue.
Anand, to a large extent, has made it interesting thanks to the crisp writing of his co-authors Suba and Kabilan Vairamuthu and topicality, when news channels are under the microscope. The director has also packaged it with commercial elements like songs, comedy, romance, sentiments and action. His casting is apt with Vijay Sethupathi playing the good guy anchor and veteran T Rajendar as his mentor and sounding board. The bad guys — the channel owner played by Akashdeep Saigal and Bose Venkat as the corrupt and thuggish politician — are fantastic.
Thilak (Vijay Sethupathi) from his college days at the Film Institute is a guy who thinks and acts differently. He is the only student in his batch who raises his hand to make a documentary instead of the more popular feature film. Thilak falls for his classmate Malar (Madonna Sebastian), who is more the practical of the two. After a misunderstanding, they fall out and years later meet again in a private news channel, where he gets the anchor's job while she is in the programming team.
The channel is run by Kalyan (Akashdeep Saigal), who believes in ‘Breaking News’ every half an hour or manufacturing it. He is hand-in-glove with a corrupt politician Dheeran Maniarasu (Bose Venkat) who is paying Kalyan to promote himself. And Thilak, during a live television interview, turns the table on the politician and he is thrown out of the channel. A rival channel boss (TR) mentors him to take on the corrupt system.
The news channel business is exposed by Anand and the first half is riveting. The showdown between the anchor and the politician (it will remind you of Shankar’s Mudhalvan and the Arjun-Reghuvaran confrontation) is brilliantly brought out. It is the second half which has all the problems, as the director thrusts in too many commercial elements with loopholes in the story as the anchor turns into a one-man army fighting against the system. The second half also loses its pace as it crawls to a predictable ending, with the hero and team doing a sting operation — something which they previously fought against.
Vijay Sethupathi is fantastic and his dig at Arnab Goswami and other anchors who shout, will have the audience in splits. The villains played by Akashdeep Saigal and Bose Venkat are inspired casting decisions and TR, playing a devoted channel owner, has done a neat job. Vikranth is good in his cameo. The songs are speed breakers but the studio set and Abhinandan’s camera work are both eye catching.
On the whole Kavan is a commercial entertainer, which keeps you hooked.