Paava Kadhaigal, the Netflix anthology film that consists of four mini-films that are mainly based on honour, with the underlayers of sins and betrayal. Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Vetrimaaran, and Vignesh Shivan have directed the four films of Paava Kadhaigal, which is jointly bankrolled by RSVP Movies and Flying Unicorn Entertainment.
Did this Netflix anthology impress the viewers? Read Paava Kadhaigal movie review here, to know...
The first segment of Paava Kadhaigal is Thangam, which is helmed by Sudha Kongara. This story, set in the '80s revolves around the life of Sathaar (Kalidas Jayaram), a transgender. He is constantly bullied by the villagers and shunned by his own family. His best friend Saravanan (Shanthanu Bhagyaraj) is his only confidant. Thangam depicts where Sathaar's life takes him.
Kalidas Jayaram, who plays Sathaar, delivers one of the finest performances of both Paava Kadhaigal and Tamil cinema in recent times. Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and Bhavani Sre, on the other hand, remind us how highly underrated they are, with their mature performances.
Director Sudha Kongara has handled this sensitive topic, which mainstream cinema is still reluctant to narrate, with absolute dignity and sincerity.
Love Panna Uttranum
This Vignesh Shivan directorial, which has a touch of black humour, deals with the caste system and has an inter-caste relationship angle. Aadhi Lakshmi and Jyothi Lakshmi (Anjali) are twin sisters, who are in love with people whom their family wouldn't approve of. While one of them succumbs to the pressure, the other gets to choose her freedom.
Anjali has convincingly played the twin sisters, who are as different as chalk and cheese. Kalki Koechlin, who plays Penelope, is a revelation on the Tamil cinema screen. The occasional bits of humour, and interesting characters make Love Panna Uttranum, a comparatively easy watch despite having some dark moments.
This story, which revolves around how a couple's life changes after their daughter falls prey to a heinous crime, is directed by Gautham Menon. The director himself appears in the lead role, along with Simran in Vaan Magal, which deals with the topics of honour and shame.
Gautham Menon has treated the climax of this segment in his famous style, which makes it positive and different from the other stories of Paava Kadhaigal. The performance of the entire star cast (the casting is on point) has a touch of underplay, but it goes overboard at certain points thus reducing the overall impact. But, Vaan Magal is definitely a hard-hitting take on the false sense of shame.
Vetrimaaran depicts the brutal face of castism and discrimination with his segment Oor Iravu. The segment narrates the story of a pregnant woman (Sai Pallavi) who is accepted back by her estranged father (Prakash Raj), who brings her to their village home for a baby shower. Prakash Raj and Sai Pallavi's performances are unarguably the biggest highlights of the segment.
Oor Iravu portrays the ugliness of the caste system with absolute honesty, which makes it the most uncomfortable watch among the four films. But, at the same time, the narrative is developed in a highly predictable way, without any big surprises. It is commendable how the director chose to narrate the dilemma of a guilt-ridden father rather than featuring him as a brutal castist, thus making him more humane.
The technical aspects of Paava Kadhaigal are simply top-notch. The soul-stirring music by Justin Prabhakaran, Karthik, and R Sivathmika has elevated the overall impact of all the segments and played a major role in creating the haunting mood.
The brilliant visualisations by Jomon T John, Theni Eswar, and Ganesh Rajavelu have made the anthology a captivating watch. The production design, make-up, and costume departments too deserve special applause.
Paava Kadhaigal narrates four gut-wrenching stories of honour with absolute sincerity and will leave you with a heavy heart. This Netflix anthology is definitely not everyone's cup of tea.