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Naan Kadavul – Review

February 9, 2009

                 Once again Director Bala has proved that he is a filmmaker with naan-kadavul-1substance and he will never be bogged down by so-called cinematic formula. This time with Naan Kadavul, he takes two different worlds; one is about Aghori’s in Kaasi and organised begging mafia in Tamil Nadu. He has shown it perfectly and in an uncompromised manner. Who said one cannot make a film without Kuthu songs, glamour and double meaning dialogues? Here is a film which shows one can satisfy the audiences by a gripping plot. This film also shows there are more realities to be shown are available. So filmmakers just see this movie and shelf your idea of making film with revenge theme and the formula film of 5 songs, 5 fights, some romance and comedies here and there.


             Rudhran was left at Kaasi by his father as a astrologer says that his presence will make the family to suffer a lot and asks him to send him somewhere for 14 years. After 14 years he goes to Kaasi to bring his son back to his village. But his son becomes an Aghori, who believes that he is a god. After requesting to his guru, his father brings him back to their home but his guru insists Rudhran to cut himself from family roots and return back.

      Another part of the story was about Thandavan who was abducting the poor people and makes them to beg to earn money. Amasavalli, a blind girl abducted from her group to join here. Her sufferings, how Rudhran and Thandavan face off and whether Rudhran punishes the Thandavan form the rest of the story.


            The casting is perfect. Be it the hero Arya who plays the character naan-kadavul-07ruthless Rudhran or Pooja, who plays as a blind girl everybody does justice to their role. Arya in the lead character, which is powerful, does well. Bala used him just how much he needed him. At times the makeup of Pooja goes overboard, which makes her face painted with black. The physically challenged people who are acted in this film have done a great job. They are providing the comic relief in an otherwise very serious film. But the stand-out performances were given by the man who played the character Murugan, who works under Mudhalali and Pooja.

Technical aspects:

           This film required some wonderful visuals and Arthur Wilson’s camera provides that. His camera captured the crowd of Kaasi, the underground places where beggars were placed and the fights with perfect angles. The lighting provided in the dark suits the mood of the film. I felt that editing could have been better in the first half. But anyway it doesn’t pull down the pace of the film. Re-recording and sound mixing are perfect.


         Maestro Illayaraja has provided some gem of the tracks to this film. But I wonder why some of the songs are not picturised. When I have heard them, they are in the line of the story. I loved the songs ‘Pichai Paathiram’ , ‘Om Siva Om’ and ‘Amma un Pillai’ from this album. The background score gels well with the film. He proves he is still the Raja(king) in that. And nobody can beat Illayaraja when it comes to creating the mood to a scene.

Dialogues and Direction:

            Dialogues are written by noted Tamil writer Jayamohan who penned some fine lines in this film. I liked the dialogue where Arya asks, “Is there any purity or impurity for fire?” when a fake Swami tells him that you have made the fire impure. All the credits except music and dialogues, goes to Director Bala who has shown the world of Sadhus, organized begging being carried out by the mafias, the pain and  joy through which the those beggars going through, human side of one of the  person who involves in kidnapping and makes them to beg. He must also credited for extracting some fine performances from his cast.

           Trafficking and organized begging was never shown with such ferocity and he introduces another set of people whom we never seen in our life. The way he captured their feelings is commendable. The location, lot of efforts were went into that, chosen by him are apt and kudos to him for taking the road less traveled. This is the darkest of all the four films he has directed until now.

            Light hearted people may find hard to digest the starting sequence of torturing of abducted people, but that is the reality. This film could have been a benchmark film, but it fails by a whisker due to 2 reasons:

  • The first half gives a documentary feel as too much time was taken to show the human trafficking and Kaasi. Even though it is understandable that they are being shown for the first time in Tamil Cinema, it drags the film a bit.
  • Too much of Hindi dialogues and no subtitles were shown for them, leaves the viewers a bit confused.

          To sum up, another great film by Bala who has set himself some standards and goes about it. Watch this film for its true depiction of darker side of our society and about the aghoris, which others never shown.

My Punch:  Not a divine, but a ruthless god.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 9, 2009 8:03 pm

    me the first

    kanagu: 🙂

  2. February 9, 2009 8:21 pm

    naan itha padikala enna padam innum parkala so not ready to get any cue from this post…padam parthutu nextu meet panren…

    kanagu: kandipa.. meet pannuvom 🙂

  3. February 9, 2009 8:38 pm

    I need to see this film now….. 🙂
    Thanks man… 🙂
    and btw, you have been tagged…..

    kanagu: See soon Ajit 🙂
    Thank you.. I will do that soon 🙂

  4. Chirag permalink
    February 9, 2009 8:50 pm

    Dude we went for this one Sunday awesome 🙂 didn’t get the whole movies in dialogues, but story was too good.

    kanagu: 🙂

  5. February 9, 2009 8:54 pm

    Looks like a must watch. Loved all bala films. Frends who saw this one said slumdog’s depiction of beggars was found insufficient,so can imagine the ruthlessness n reality

    kanagu: Its a must watch, if you have loved the previous Bala films 🙂

  6. February 9, 2009 9:55 pm

    Strictly for BALA fans… No more words… i couldn’t enjoy the film because of CENSOR at the most vital scenes… Felt like i was thrown into a group of BEGGARS and fans were Yelling “AMMA THAAYE PICHA PODUNGA PA”

    kanagu: If they had shown those scenes means nobody woul have some the theatre.
    /*Felt like i was thrown into a group of BEGGARS and fans were Yelling “AMMA THAAYE PICHA PODUNGA PA”*/
    There lies Bala’s victory.. making you feel like one of the character.. LOL 😀

  7. February 9, 2009 9:56 pm

    Y for my name alone the smiley comes one eyed looking viciously… I need different smiley… plz change fr me

    kanagu: Its changed.. R u happy now? 🙂

  8. February 9, 2009 10:09 pm

    He he.. sema smiley for Lancelot now!!!

    kanagu: Ungalukku nalla smiley kedaikratha vida lance ku oru mokka smiley kedaikrathala than ungalukku santhosham pola irukke 🙂

  9. February 9, 2009 11:29 pm

    Great music indeed! I loved the songs. The movie was very natural and award winning types. So, not for all the general audience I guess.

    Destination Infinity

    kanagu: Yes DI.. not for general audiences 🙂

  10. Rajesh Kumar permalink
    February 10, 2009 12:35 am

    Good review. One more thing I noted was that few scenes could have been made more realistically like the court scene( which was handled more humorously), may be Bala wanted to make a few comprises to make the film reach a wider range of audience.

    kanagu: Thanks Rajesh.. 🙂
    Yeah.. he must also keep the producer’s economic condition after films release in mind.. 😀

  11. Rajesh Kumar permalink
    February 10, 2009 12:37 am


  12. February 10, 2009 1:25 am

    Its a wonderful creation alright, but the film rests on a very thin storyline. I felt the story was elongated to fill in the length. And also due to the censor reasons, the real characterisation of the Aghoris werent shown.

    kanagu: Its all based on situation and characterisation… we must encourage independent films.. so that only a director can show the reality 🙂

  13. February 10, 2009 2:29 am

    Ah, good review! Now I want to watch this film! While a few film-makers in the Tamil filmdom are stupidly sticking to the masala concept, it’s great that we have directors like Bala who are willing to make good films. They must be encouraged at all costs.

    Now, what kind of father is the guy who abandons his son only because of the stupid advice of an idiotic astrologer 😕

    kanagu: See.. the film Raj.. your anguish will be shown in the screen too…..
    These directors must be encouraged else we will not see good film in Tamil Cinema..
    Thanks Raj 🙂

  14. February 10, 2009 2:29 am

    Am not into movies… But I sure as hell wanna watch this! 😀

    Thanks for reviewing…


    And thanks for the wish, mate. 🙂

    Trust all is well.

    kanagu: Welcome Kartz 🙂

  15. February 10, 2009 7:11 am

    @ Kartik

    machi en smiley unna mathiriyae irukudaa 😛

  16. February 10, 2009 7:24 am

    படம் பார்க்க தூண்டுகிறது, தங்களது விமர்சனம்

    kanagu: Nandri Jamal 🙂 Paarunga 🙂

  17. February 10, 2009 8:12 am

    I have heard that it is a good movie. But the theme is very bad.
    Please read this review:

    kanagu: Thanks for the link Vijay.. I will never see the religious part in anything.. so it didn’t affected me much to write about it.. I don’t think theme is bad.. it’s odd

  18. February 10, 2009 10:59 am


    Its MJ DANGEROUS step da.. :p Thnks for comparing me with MJ 😉

  19. February 10, 2009 11:41 am

    nice review ..
    I wanted to see the movie ever since the trailers started coming up .. 😀
    arya looks so perfect for it ..except that aghoris dont have a body like his 😛
    i beleive so 😛 ..

    kanagu: Thanks Arvind 🙂
    Watch it soon 🙂

  20. February 10, 2009 3:30 pm

    last line nachu…not divine but ruthless…kalakiteenga

    kanagu: welcome here Shanki 🙂
    Thank you 🙂

  21. February 11, 2009 7:45 am

    yes machi neeyum MJ yum onnu thaan…for obvious reasons..

  22. Vin permalink
    February 11, 2009 8:08 pm

    hmmm…i may not have the guts to watch this!!
    thanks for the review, Kanagu 🙂
    u r simply the best!!!

    kanagu: May I ask Bala to release a version that you can see… LOL

    Thanks Vinnie for your appreciation 🙂

  23. February 12, 2009 2:46 am

    Nice review ther. Haven’t watched it yet.

    kanagu: Thanks Pria 🙂
    Watch it soon.. ypu may like it 🙂

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