Summary – A flat out mockery of the struggles of tea plantation workers.
Hmm… ennatha solla (what else to say?)
Indha Kollywood karunkaali paya Bala marubadiyum marubadiyum sootha kaatran (this Kollywood empty dickhead moons at us over and over again).
Folks, say what you want to say – a dude who doesn’t know how to frame or compose a shot without physically abusing actors is not a filmmaker.
Obviously this alleged filmmaker has the intention of making the movie as “realistic” as possible, but the reality fades away as one is left without any sort of empathy for those poor souls who endured torture under British rule.
Loosely based on a novel “Eriyum Panikkaadu” which is a Tamil translation of the 1969 novel “Red Tea by Paul Harris Daniel, the story is set in the village of Salur of Sivangangai district.
Adharva plays “Rasa” a.k.a. “otti peruki” a.k.a. “kusu perukki”, a village crier who is treated with prejudice by everybody for reasons unknown!?
The only person who cares for him is “Angamma” played by Vedhika.
She cares for him so much that they end up sleeping together.
The result is the eternal curse of Kollywood where a woman gets pregnant in “ore shot” (single f*ck)
Her mom disowns her and she ends up in Rasa’s house until a broker hired by British tea plantation owners tricks them into becoming coolies.
From then, things take a downward spiral that ends apathetically on a sad note.
Adharva – There is nothing to blame him for since in 90% of the frames he is shown either crying or being beaten up or the typical Bala’s psychopathic look with those weird eyes. So his performance is nothing but Bala’s buttocks.
Vedhika – She plays a so-so playful girl “ongamma….sorry Angamma” (as the compounder refers her name that way reading a letter) who often teases Rasa by referring to him as “Kusu perukki” (fart raiser). Bala’s fetish for kuckooskaries (janitors) is quiet evident as he has transformed a decent looking actress into an ugly village girl in the name of realism with the weird hair-do.
Other than these two, none of the characters stick in one’s mind.
Dhansikha plays Maragadham who has some grace but as we try to take a liking for her character she gets struck with a disease and Bala kills her with glee.
As we try to root for any of these characters, the snail paced movie loses even more pace by the sudden entry of a weird pot-bellied doctor and his British wife who comes to treat people with the deal of converting them into Christians.
And what was the British guy eating from the girl!? Her booger? Gross!
And what is with the middleman kneeling down and going “My Lord…My lord”.
While we try to empathize with the coolies’ grief there comes a totally unnecessary song with the doctor and British wife dancing like monkeys for “Thannai Thaaane”.
Is this what you call realism!?
The Cinematography was good.
However, it didn’t give a real sense of time period as claimed by the story.
The only redeeming factor is the music.
While the songs “Seneer Thaana” and “Avatha paiyaa” stand out from the rest, the background score is above average.
Oh, another redeeming factor was the maintenance of the BigCinemas in Loehmann’s twin at Falls Church. A lot better than “MovieCity” in Edison, NJ.
There was some sadness and poignancy by the end of “Naan Kadavul” and we embraced it.
Au contraire, Paradesi ends up mocking the coolies without a solid purpose of entertainment.
Raise the Middle Finger
When I heard of actor Murali’s premature demise, I was saddened.
I guess things do happen for a reason. Murali is really blessed not to have seen the torture his son Adharva endured at the hands of a so called filmmaker.
Naan panjam polaikka $12 selavazhichuttaen. (I spent $12 to feed myself).
Unless you’re desperate to walk out of the theater with a constipated grimace, don’t even go shopping near a theater this abomination is running in.