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"Kannaadi Pookal"



"Kannaadi Pookal" ... an impressive attempt.

RARELY DO you come across a film that is sincere, gripping and suspenseful. Congrats to Team Work Productions for providing such worthy fare as "Kannaadi Pookal" (U/A). It is another emotion-driven role for Parthiban, after "Azhagi" — the actor's effective, natural, underplayed portrayal is an asset of "... Pookal." Kaveri and Master Ashwin make the other awesome parts of this beautiful bouquet of brittle flowers. All credit to director Shahjahan (screenplay and dialogue are also his) for the apt casting! This is his second offering in Tamil after "Punnagai Desam," — one that he can be truly proud of.

Shaktivel (Parthiban), wife Meera (Kaveri) and son Vasu (Master Ashwin) comprise a cute, happy family. Vasu is the son of Parthiban's first wife, who is no more. But the genuine affection that Meera and her stepson share is heart-warming. The knell of disaster strikes loud and hard when Meera begets a son. Soon sibling rivalry reaches unmanageable proportions. The sentiments of a family drama and the nail-biting suspense of a thriller come into play from this point.

Ashwin scores

Ashwin, the young national award winner, has come out with an excellent enactment in "Kannaadi Pookal." As the jealous but loving brother, whose naïve actions lead to dire consequences, the child is able to show myriad expressions that you forgive him for his native accent. When he pleads "Sorry" with hands folded, your heart goes out to the boy.

Kaveri is dignity personified. The joy, fear and sorrow she conveys easily transcend the level of mere acting — so sincere is her performance. `Pyramid' Natarajan presents an interesting cameo — his emotional moment with Vasu later in the story is a scene where he acquits himself commendably.

Another actor who makes his presence felt is Sarath Babu as the psychiatrist. But why does he add to the tension, by instructing the parents not to tell Vasu about the arrival of a newborn? Rajkapoor as the insensitive policeman is a disconcerting aspect — why should he visit the school and humiliate the child? The only aberration, of course is Parthiban dancing in a woman's garb! Thankfully it is over in a matter of minutes.

Surprisingly, though the title music does give a sense of déjà vu, S. A. Rajkumar's score as a whole and the melodies in particular offer some aural enjoyment. The best part of Arthur A. Wilson's camera is that it does not come between the film and the viewer. This unobtrusiveness gives the feeling that it is a real drama that's unfolding before your eyes. But the tone and colour of Trotsky Marudhu's artwork has a touch of the unnatural. Jaishankar's skilled editing helps maintain the tempo of "... Pookal."

Preserving the flavour of the original and at the same time making it adaptable to the Tamil milieu can pose a challenge. But Shahjahan has tackled things admirably. Without allowing even a moment of boredom to set in, this remake of the Malayalam film, "Enda Veedu Appandam," is for those who yearn for a taste of poignant, realistic cinema in the vernacular tongue. Why can't we have more meaningful flicks like "Kannaadi Pookal"?

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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