Apr 13 2017
For Vijay Sethupathi, easily the busiest hero in Tamil cinema today, Kavan can kind of be considered a step up into the big leagues. He has so far been working on smaller films with newer directors while Kavan is helmed by K.V.Anand, who has made big-budget entertainers with stars like Suriya and Dhanush. But the film, a political thriller that also delves into the world of cable television, doesn’t do the actor much good.
Tilak(Vijay Sethupathi) joins Zen1, a television channel as a reporter (the actor looks his usual scruffy self initially but cleans up nicely later when he needs to be on camera to host a talk show). A riot he films on his phone outside the building catches the eye of the news editor Pillai(Pandiarajan) but also quickly teaches him how things work at the channel. He also finds out that Malar(Madonna Sebastian), who dumped him in college, already works at Zen1. This past precludes a romantic track between them with her attitude towards him changing gradually as they work together.
As long as Tilak, Malar and others are at Zen1, the film focuses on the goings-on at the channel. This is supposed to be an expose on what goes on behind the scenes in television channel companies but with the managing director Kalyan(Akashdeep Saigal) and manager Bhavana drawn as complete caricatures, the proceedings are over-the-top and unrealistic. A short look at the different areas of the company is interesting but once the film starts showing us how things are manipulated in a reality dance show, subtlety goes out the window. Some of the off-camera dealings in the backrooms are acceptable but when Bhavana relays instructions to the judges and slaps a kid on one of the teams to make him cry(he is asked to show emotions on losing but insists on smiling), the film begins to resemble a spoof rather than a satire.
K.V.Anand tries to make things realistic by throwing real-world names like Gopinath and editor Antony into the dialogs. His usual self-deprecating scene comes when Bhavana receives a phone call from him as he angles for an award. But these are familiar tricks from him. The only new thing he does is that way he plays with our expectations in leading to the intermission and that works well.
The over-the-top portrayal doesn’t stop with the channel execs and extends to the politician Dheeran Maniarasu(Bose Venkat) also. He chugs liquor in his car, talks crassly, beats up reporters and shows up at a place where a fake death is being planned just so he can incriminate himself. A pesticide factory he is associated with has polluted a lake and destroyed the lives of people in the surrounding villages. But its difficult to take things seriously when even these scenes are sprinkled with jokes(to be far, the Manirathnam-Bala comment is very funny).
Kalpana, a woman who led protests against the factory, is raped and the blame laid on her friend Abdul(Vikranth). While Zen1 cozies up to Maniarasu, Tilak and Malar walk out and join Muthamizh TV, run by Mayilvaganan(T.Rajendar). Rajendar is his usual over the top self, talking in rhymes when he is throwing punch dialogs and struggling to sound sincere when he serious. The climactic portions are chaotic with secret cameras, hidden mikes and elaborate schemes that miraculously work. There is a small surprise about one of the employees in Muthamizh TV but none of the other supposed twists come as surprises.
7 responses so far