Kanne Kalaimane movie review: Tamannaah, Udhayanidhi Stalin's rural drama lacks clarity and focus
Till the last 10 minutes of the two-hour-seven-minute film, there is no solid conflict, and Kanne Kalaimane looks more like a television soap.
Seenu Ramasamy specialises in making rural based films with strong characters in unusual situations. He walks the thin line between commercial and middle-of-the-road cinema. The title of his new film, Kanne Kalaimane, is significant as it is an ode to his mentor Balu Mahendra’s Kamal Haasan-Sridevi-starrer Moondram Pirai hit song, penned by the legendary Kannadasan.
In Kanne Kalaimane, Ramasamy touches upon a mature romance between an organic farmer and a do-gooder, played by Udhayanidhi Stalin and a cooperative bank manager, played by Tamannaah. In a way, this feel-good emotional drama is also Stalin’s (son of DMK chief and opposition leader MK Stalin) first political film.
Director and writer Seenu Ramasamy touches upon current political issues like farm loan waiver, plight of the farming community, farmer suicides and NEET exams among others. He addresses the question of how people with Rs 10,000 crore bank loans leave the country with impunity while those who have taken Rs 10,000 farming loans are hunted down by bank officials. Ramasamy does not criticise any political party or person but makes some constructive criticism of how the agrarian woes have been transformed into vote banks.
Kamalakannan (Stalin) is an organic farmer and wants to elevate the farming community. He loves his father (Poo Ram), who brought him up, along with his authoritative grandmother (Vadivukkarasi), after the death of his mother. He will not go against their wishes. So without their knowledge, he takes loans from cooperative banks to bail out people. One day, the new cooperative bank manager Bharathi (Tamannaah), a fiercely independent lady, finds out that he has taken eight loans to bail out others. She thinks he is a willful defaulter and tries to take action against him.
Kamalkannan’s honesty and devotion stump her as he pays back a few of the loans and soon discovers that she is in love with him. Kamalkannan and Bharathy, who have the same ideology and dreams of uplifting the farmer community, decide to marry provided their family agrees. Unfortunately Kannan’s grandmother disagrees to the marriage basically because Bharathi is from another caste and is too independent and wants to work after her marriage. Somehow, Kannan is able to convince his grandmother (he goes on a hunger strike) but their marriage life does not run smooth, as a new problem surfaces.
Unlike his previous films, Ramasamy lacks a solid script here. Till the last 10 minutes of the two-hour-seven-minute film, there is no solid conflict, and the film looks more like a television soap. Stalin's character, in the first half, seems to be reading out the DMK manifesto to the viewers and late in the second half, the director brings in a conflict which looks as though it was an afterthought.
Tamannaah, wearing Co-Optex handloom cotton saris and high necked collared blouses without any gaudy makeup throughout the film, has come out with a lively performance. The director has given her a pivotal role, around which the film revolves. Stalin has also effectively handled a mature role with consummate ease. The scenes between the lead pair before their marriage are the best moments in the story, which slip to some kind of melodrama in the second half. The supporting cast of Poo Ram, Vadivukkarasi and Vasundhara, who features as Udhayanidhi’s classmate, have done justice to their limited screen time.
The rural humour seen in the director’s earlier films is missing here, making this one a dull affair. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music in the background is one of the highlights of the film, though there are no conventional song sequences.
On the whole, Kanne Kalaimane is a run-of-the-mill film, and would have worked better if the script and narration had more clarity and focus.
Rating: 2.75 stars
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Mahesh Babu is the son of yesteryear star Krishna and Indira Devi and is the fourth of the five children born to the couple.