Kavan: An Overstuffed Plot That Fails to Create Tension
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
What happens when you cram one too many elements into a film’s plot? It leads to an overstuffed screenplay that is too bloated to rise up and work its wonders on the emotional palette of the audiences. Unfortunately, K.V Anand’s Kavan succumbs to the detrimental fate of overstuffing.
The film takes a stand on pesticide poisoning, unwarranted sensationalism practiced by the Indian Media, corrupt practices of police officials and ruthless politics. By taking on so much, it crumbles in a delicate balancing act as the story advances.
An earnest Thilak (Vijay Sethupathi) joins Zenone TV with hopes of thriving in the competitive Indian Media Industry. A few weeks into his work, he comes face to face with the harsh realities of deceitful journalism. In his efforts to break free from unethical journalism, he and his bunch of earnest reporters encounter threats and backlash in plenty. The manner in which they expose the unwarranted sensationalism practiced by corporate driven media houses forms the rest of the story.
The first half is filled with fleeting references that are unmemorable and sometimes inappropriate. Making matters worse, the second half carries over-dramatic elements that are interlaced with offensive remarks.
The characterizations are done extremely shoddily. As Kalyan (Aakashdeep Saighal) the CEO of Zenone TV is introduced, you can’t help but write him off as just another villain from the North. Thilak, who is the vehicle of all things earnest, makes a few troubling justifications about men and their tendencies to cheat. When he advocates for alarming causes, you tend not to buy into his earnestness. Mayilvaganan’s (T Rajender) characterization could have taken many more significant directions but instead all he ever does his throw off poorly constructed puns.
Considering K.V. Anand is an established director, it is shocking to see cheap remarks making their way into the story now and then. The central romance track comes across as ingenuine due to its despicable treatment. The dialogues too are defectively constructed. Too many popular Tamil phrases are squeezed into the dialogues making them preachy and unconvincing.
Just when matters get serious, the narrative introduces a below average song. When you invest in too many mainstream indulgences, it is very easy for the audiences to not take the film or its characters seriously. The timing of the songs and comedy are way off the mark.
Even though Kavan talks about sensitive and prevailing current issues, the lack of realism in the chaotic narrative doesn’t establish credibility. In a scene where an interview with a politician finally gets interesting, a dramatic and preachy sequence that follows de-assembles whatever tension the previous sequence builds up.
While dealing with trivial issues such as the present state of the Media giants, it is so important for realism to be the driving force of the plot. That’s why films like Mudhalvan and Ko work. They create tension by embedding realism all the while incorporating mainstream elements. This sort of balance and focus is what Kavan lacks.
Vijay Sethupathi delivers a genuine performance as Thilak. In fact, his conviction is what makes this fictional journey worth-while. He is a complete natural, but he has to work at growing fit again. When he plays a student, his wig and out of form persona is so hard to fathom. Madonna Sebastian delivers an adequate performance but fails to surprise you. Jagan’s smart one-liners bring the audiences comic relief. T Rajender is his usual self, tolerable to a few and intolerable to the rest.
The technicalities of Kavan fall below average. All through the chaotic protest scenes, the visuals lack sharpness. The sudden bursts of light and shots of randomly focused objects take away from the credibility of cinematographer Abhinandan Ramanujam.
It is now safe to say that Hip Hop Thamizha’s music has run its course. The Background score is forgettable, and the songs are repetitive and dreadful. A poor remix of MSV’s timeless classic Vetri Meethu Vetri that plays on towards the end only goes on to re-instate the dreadfulness the music brings.
In conclusion, Kavan’s over-stuffed plot fails to create tension due to its constant seemingly mainstream deteriorations. It could be an entertaining summer film if you take up the herculean task of overlooking its flaws.