Review for KARNAN:
•Duration: 159 Minutes.
•Genre: ACTION DRAMA THRILLER.
• REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI.R.VALIYAVEETIL.
(Theatre: Dhanya & Remya Cinemas Kollam with 70% of the audience)
2: STORY & SCREENPLAY.
5: BACKGROUND SCORE.
6: PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS
9: ART DIRECTION.
10: REALISTIC ACTION SEQUENCES.
1: NOTHING TO MENTION.
•ONE WORD: A dominant movie that strongly roars against oppression, offering an unforgettable experience.
Karnan is directed by Mari Selvaraj who is well known for his previous impressive film Pariyerum Perumal released in 2018. He writes the story, screenplay and dialogues. The movie is produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu under his own V Creations banner and the movie is distributed is Zee Studios. The musical work including the background score is composed by Santhosh Narayanan. The cinematography is by Theni Eswar and the editing was by Selva R. K. The film has the star casting of Dhanush, Lal, Yogi Babu, Natarajan Subramaniam, Rajisha Vijayan, Gouri G. Kishan and Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli in the lead roles.
The film tells the story of Karnan and his villagers. He is a fearless and courageous youth who stand for his people to get their rights. Due to many troubling and torment situations from governing missionaries and also due to many caste issues from other villagers he was forced to be a leader among his people to fight against all the obstacles. Will be able to protect them, can his villagers have a better life and how he can bring justice is the rest of the story.
Karnan is an ionic and humanistic film that tells about the reality and current happening of the rural village in Tamil Nadu. The hazardous life of villagers, their struggling’s, their injustice life and the discrimination from upper-caste is what the film is conveying, a completely realistic portrayal of much living life. Mari Selvaraj who had previously made the film Pariyerum Perumal had made the current statements of cast discrimination through his beautiful unforgettable film. When he comes to direct his second venture Karnan he hasn’t forgotten to cover up this same issue, this time with an energetic cast and crew he points out some true life and treacherous incidents happening in our society. Mari Selvaraj had successfully made the entire film into the supreme level of winning success. As a director and writer, he had made a glorious work, it’s all about his observation and brilliance. The basic storyline of the plot is something we have seen before but the elements that he had added to the plot and the screenplay makes Karnan different from others.
Apparently when looking one can feel that Karnan is a similar and same journey happening between oppressed one who has nothing to lose and between oppressor who has the power to oppress anyone, but the fact that makes Karnan different from this outline is due to its narrating style and detailing of the script. The making and writing from Mari Selvaraj render the movie brilliantly to find its ultimate target, the inner and common politics is what the movie is conveying to express. The various truthful and shocking occurrences which are happening in our society was courageously brought out by Mari Selvaraj. The socio-political premises and their injustice manifestations are pointing out amazingly in the making and also in the script, which will surely make everyone wonder whether this society is still suffering from these intolerances. The shocking discrimination is shown by the upper cast people and their dirty play to have the power was evidently shown in the film and when looking into the present circumstances and it was apparently reflecting as a mirror to the current society, therefore, the intention of the maker is clear, he tries to bring out these relevant issues in a cinematic manner.
What I found most interesting was the mixed fantasy mystic realism, the central character Karnan’s sister turning out as Kattu-Pechi was unbelievable, those areas of the film will show us some magical tale wonders. The placements of Kattu-Pechi at the crucial scenes from the director was sharp, positioned at the precise time and these fantasy elements give more appeal and largely relates to the important scenes. Another is the use of animals, during the whole first half a donkey can be seen with legs tied up. It tries several ways to free its legs but can’t, the restriction to move from one place to another was beautifully shown, when Karnan and his villagers make their first move to question an offence the tied legs of the donkey gets free, the same donkey fastly running was gorgeous to see, displaying the real freedom and finally the donkey getting near to Kattu-Pechi was like a mysterious happening. So the connection between the fantasy elements and reality is enhancing largely to excite the viewers.
The script of Mari Selvaraj takes the desired time to establish the story, the arrangements of various events and incidents justify the ongoing of the film, all those circumstances that lead the plot from the first half has solid reasons to rationalize the stunning climax. As a writer, Mari Selvaraj had done elegant homework in writing the screenplay because the movie is filled with many kinds of numerous events so the chances of getting an off-balance were largely high but due to the neat and careful writing, the screenplay had indisputably worked out as per the story. The written dialogues were extremely powerful, the words and dialogues were having a potent privilege power to dominate the viewers, through the dialogues the conversations lead by the characters were having the capability of dominating the viewers can catch up every audience attention also these formidable dialogues won’t give any kind of lagging or boring. The use of emotions in the screenplay was heavily used, the factors such as desperation, betrayal, love, sister-brother affection, parenthood, friendship, fantasies, survival fights and discrimination were effectively used to influence the viewers and Mari Selvaraj had truly won on writing these factors drastically.
In the direction, Mari Selvaraj had also succeeded to use the acting talents of every actor. The skills and acting talents of Dhanush and Lal were victoriously used because Mari Selvaraj gives the right ideas to his actors on how to perform were evidently seen in his making. Not just the main characters every single actor who appears in the movie was portraying the natural acting, therefore the vision and insight of Mari Selvaraj is indicating his dedication and commitment. The connections he laid through his film for the viewers was wonderful because there are some scenes where police officers are ruthlessly beating up the villagers, it’s a scene carrying sentiments. So while watching these scenes a viewer will be influenced and also can feel and recognize their pain and struggle, it’s due to the irresistible visuals. He knows the pulse of the audience and also understood how to grab their attention, so the implementation was adequate, everything was made to make an impact and also to influence the viewers. Importantly like said earlier Mari Selvaraj hasn’t forgotten to disseminate the suffering and pain of oppressed one, in another angle he also haven’t hurt anyone or any groups, the various speeches in the movie especially at the climax by the character Karnan was felt as relevant to the present one, he doesn’t carry out any intention to hurt anyone thumbs up to his observation.
Looking into the performance Dhanush as Karnan was fantastic throughout the film, he stole the show with his energetic performance. The way he undertook the character and acted was different from his previous style. The seriousness and intensity were demanding for the character and Dhanush had amazingly given all his best effort to make the role more vibrant. The dialogue delivery was sharp and accurate according to each scene, the presentation was precise depending on the scene. The distinctive style of action sequences was compelling and the attitudes while performing the stunts was enthusiastic. Dhanush had also done a great job of performing emotional scenes, his tears, his sorrows and his desperate situations were sentimental, his acting was having a balanced power to make the viewers sentimental. The romantic scenes were also delightful to watch, the affectionate love was seen in his performance, the combination scene with Rajisha Vijayan has completely given the right romantic feel. Lal as Yaman did an outstanding performance from the beginning till the end. His equal screen space with Dhanush was impressive, the chemistry they had with each other was wonderful. His sharp acting skills was completely seen, also his whole performance was active and strong, he was not inactive for a single moment. It was slightly sad to see that his voice was not dubbed. As a Malayalam actor, all his Tamil dialogue and its delivery were awesome, proper conversation and its sync were meticulous. His climax portion was sentimental and the emotional scenes were handled precisely. Rajisha Vijayan as Draupathi did an excellent job. It’s her debut film in Tamil and a great beginning for her, am sure this character will be among her best roles. The looks and manners of a typical village girl were beautifully seen in her acting and outlook. The screen space with Dhanush was romantic, and her few emotional scenes were also notable. Yogi Babu as Vadamalaiyaan also did a significant job, his role was having many crucial and important turning point in the story and he did it accordingly in the right vigorous potent method. Natarajan Subramaniam as Kannabiran, the IPS police officer id a shining performance. His negative character shades were rigorously positive, the atrocities his character perform and his acting to it were having the true attitudes of a villain. Gouri G. Kishan as Kokila and Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli as Karnan’s sister Padmini was marvellous in delivering the finest performance. Lakshmi Priya’s whole performance was glowing to an extreme bright level, her entire acting was natural with the best emotional scenes. The combination scenes with Dhanush was showing the real love and affection of the brother and sister relationship, their combo is one of the highlights of the film. G. M. Kumar as Dhuriyodhanan and Shanmugarajan as Abhimanyu comes with the best-supporting roles, their dialogue delivery was best, the qualities of senior village leaders was undertaken authentically. There are plenty of actors who did the villagers role, and everyone had given real natural acting and did complete justice to their respective characters.
The technical side of the movie was gorgeously made to the biggest extreme level of grandness. From the cinematography to the art direction everything was supremely higher than the usual structure. The musical compositions by Santhosh Narayanan were magical, from the various tracks to the background score he had given whatever the film was demanding. The background scores had taken the whole movie to reach its desired peak, the vibe and totality of the film was having the right manner through the powerful background score. When a scene needs a particular tune to set the premise Santosh Narayanan had given the matching and prominent BGM to make the scenarios wonderful. Among the tracks, the song “Kandaa Vara Sollunga” was giving a sensible introduction for most of the characters and the song with its visual was good to hear. The song “Manjanathi Puranam” sung by Deva and Reetha Anonty was a scrupulous song giving the pain of desperateness, the vocal of legendary composer Deva was strong to the scenarios also the vocals of Reetha Anonty had brought out the cultural vibe of celebration conducting during the death ceremony. Also, the track had successfully established the emotion of a husband’s love for his wife, and the song strongly portrays his agony over her untimely death due to illness. Another song called “Thattaan Thattaan” sung by Dhanush and Meenakshi Illayaraja made the romantic feel allover. The final song “Uttradheenga Yeppov” was unique to hear, the Parai best and rhythms were different to the ears. So one of the winning factors behind the success of this film is the soulful music and background score by Santhosh Narayanan and I hope Karnan’s musical works will give him many notable awards and appreciation. The cinematography by Theni Eswar was like a word classwork, his frames and shots were having predominant energy to tell the story. The frames were like conveying moreover it was having the strength to give lots of inner meaning. Some of the interesting shots and frames will also help the viewers to think differently from their usual perspectives. The camera movements for the action sequences were tremendous, the types of motion and the placement of the camera was charmed with unique skills. The close-up shots which point out to express the various expression of each character were reliably at it’s best. The lighting techniques used for the indoor scenes and also for the night shots were natural, felt like the original premise. The editing of Selva R. K was purely neat and clean with the crisp and clear cuts, no mismatches were felt not even for a single moment, the adding of the gradient were also good and the transition of scenes was perfect. The team behind the art department also deserves huge applause for bringing out the credible set, everything from the surroundings to the houses look like the same which we can saw in villages.
So overall to conclude without any kind of hesitation I would say that Karnan is not just a movie it’s a lesson and an experience that one should never miss in their life. The movie will teach us a lot, will surely make everyone think differently and will also help us to raise our voice against intolerance, yes Karnan is like a book full of lessons which will help to realise various angles of our society. I will definitely label Karnan as a masterpiece film and will surely recommend it to everyone, it’s a unique cinematic experience so never miss it.
• VERDICT: A MUST WATCH MASTERPIECE FILM.
• GRADE: A+
• RATING: 5/5