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  • Writer's pictureVenki

Karnan movie review - A Rebellion

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

Mari Selvaraj’s deep engagement with caste and oppression continues. The film version is everything we could have possibly hoped for; part gripping, part intense and part heartbreaking. He follows Ambedkar's powerful sub-texts Pattravai which means agitate but for a reason. With a wafer thin familiar plot, director weaves in a perfect cast, imposing the voice of revolution mixing subtleness and aggression with an entertaining format this time. But he cautiously stayed away from the usual one man show or heroic act even though you will see glimpses of that through out but its handled with grace and elegance.

A terrific opening block and a rousing interval block which reminded me of Asuran but with a MS touch. There are some stunningly plotted moments which serves as a political parable than mere entertainment. There are numerous sprinkles that are supposed to connect the film (from donkey to eagle to deity face to horse and the most prominent one the sun) is very elegantly made. Its a homage to those who are determined to resist. Eventually, it’s also an exploration of anger and how it’s an emotion only the privileged are allowed to express.

You can feel that the film knows that, you can feel that the film actually wants to get it right, it makes an effort to use the right tone and the aesthetics are largely consistent. Theni Eswar and Santhosh Narayanan played a key role in accentuating the beauty of Tirunelveli’s backdrop and music of this film. Lal and Dhanush were terrific through out. Dhanush is getting more and more refined with each film, this guy will rock in coming years if backed by strong story lines.

The dark photography, full of lyricism and poetic references, matches perfectly imprinted in the scenes of struggle and violence. Violence can be an appropriate, justified means of combating other violence. Sometimes you have to make war to win a war.

The weakest links are romantic portions which did not work for me at all and the climax which lost bit of realistic touch. Couple of songs felt unnecessary and forced in. In the end Mari wanted to make a bold statement with a realistic approach but still wanted to appeal the masses.

In the end this song lyrics were pitch perfect for this film with deft touch of Mahabhartha references. Kavasathaiyum Kandathilla, Yentha Kundalumum Koodayilla, Val Thookki Ninnan Paru - Avandhan Karnan!!!

Verdict - 3.5/5 (Change in Inevitable)

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