Kanavu Variyam – Tamil Movie Review

Debutant writer-director Arun Chidambaram’s ‘Kanavu Variyam’ has been advertised as a film about the power scarcity problem that resulted in long hours of power cut in Tamil Nadu a few years ago. Let’s see whether the film will help the director in achieving his Kanavu (dream) of making it big in Kollywood.

Ezhil, is an inquisitive boy with innovative thinking. He drops out of school, starts learning mechanical work and sets up a machine repair shop on his own.

In 2011, the state is gripped by immense power scarcity, Ezhil starts a mission to create electricity from wind energy and tries to create wind mills with the resources available with him but many of his attempts fail. He is encouraged and supported by his father (Ilavarasu), friend Sarkarai (Black Pandi), lover (Jiya Shankar), her Elder brother (Yog Japi) and a retired school teacher (Gnanasambandam). All others in the village keep ridiculing Ezhil for his failure to make a living on his own.

What happens to Ezhil’s mission is told in the rest of the screenplay.

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

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