Naan Kadavul – mixed concepts
Dry trees mostly get stoned. Similarly 'Naan Kadavul' has received brickbats and bouquets at the same time.
One can count on one hand the kind of directors whose films are awaited with bated breath. One of those to be counted in will be Bala. In making just four films, the expectation he has created is a rare event.
It is a week since 'Kadavul' got released. The criticisms offered from ordinary folks to the enlightened are of various kinds. On the one hand, it is ovation and wonderment that are invigorating incentives to Bala's hard work and talent and on the other, they are bitter.
The criticisms emanating from various quarters have occupied a major mind space even unlike the films of Superstar and Kalaignani. The activity on internet and blogs on Bala's films has never before happened to a Tamil film.
There are those who gave a good rating to the film. There are also those who were very critical. They all can't be treated as intellectual criticisms. For a variety of comments are expressed by audiences ranging from street vendors coming out of the theatres.
The director has attempted to compress a novel idea that calls for a book of thousand pages compressed into a two and half hour experience. It is depressing that it could cross only half the literature amounting to around 500 pages. Having created plots for two stories and the platforms, Bala has spoiled both in the confusion of which story to give importance. It has been reported that months and years of shooting in Kasi has taken place. Adhisha online has painfully pointed out that such scenes don't occupy even half an hour.
The blogspot 'Pichaipathiram' writes: Bala likes to portray himself in a specific definition continuously. Here is someone who is very mighty. He is a brute. No one other than the elements can control him. Law and justice can't touch him. He destroys evil elements violently. Always remaining in total peace he has got to be induced into action. Confrontations happen when he joins the social stream shaping him out of the intriguingly violent context
Bala's characters are typical now like Arya is Rudhra. Bala's heroes can only be seen just as a revised version of the heroes crying out bravado dialogues with machete in hand that we see in popular cinema. This will be boring to the audience.
A Tamil cinema website writes: Bala demands us to take a look at the life of beggars who are visible to the eyes but not to the mind. No one bared the life of marginal people with such authority. The heat of Jayamohan's dialogues blazes in our ears like pouring molten tar. Coming out of the theatre one can't but exclaim 'Oh, what a life is this'.
Blogspot Thamira Pulambalgal writes:
The differently skilled people portrayed in the film make us realize their might. But what pains me personally is should there be a scene showing them subject to ill-treatment? It is happening in real time. It is also true that non-belief will not negate it. Yet directors like Bala can achieve the necessary impact through dialogues alone. In another scene where the villain attacks a physically challenged woman, is there a reason to show it for such a long time? Every one would know that it is exceptional for that woman to die of those stone throwing attacks.
In Gnani's O Pages, Bala is the one who got rapped. Like the character Thandavan in the film who makes a life out of the pickings of the physically challenged beggar gangs Bala has violated the human rights by making crores of rupees in salary by making films with physically and mentally challenged and disabled people. Yet another rap is for the Censor Board for granting a U/A certification allowing even children to watch this offensive film.
Often creations that provoke criticisms take deep roots and grow into huge trees and 'Naan Kadavul' is such a tree too. The seeds of this tree are clearly like a lesson for the future directors. Apart from criticisms, the question a media person asked Bala when exiting after seeing the film is: why is it that we get a feeling that many scenes seem to be hanging just half done?
The answer Bala gave us, is the indication of the philosophy - which of life's scenes is complete? Living completely for a day would not make the next day as valuable. The shortcomings of the film are as much the same as mind and life. Knowing this fully well I allowed them.
Here are some links. This is one movie which has received lots of reviews on the internet.
http://www.athishaonline.com/2009/02/blog-post_07.html - Athisha
http://pitchaipathiram.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post.html - Suresh Kannan
http://ennam.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post.html - Abdul Kalam Azad
http://thamira-pulampalkal.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post_07.html - Thamira
http://mathavaraj.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post_07.html - Madhavaraj
- Snap Judgement
http://truetamilans.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post_06.html - True Tamilan
http://www.luckylookonline.com/2009/02/blog-post_06.html - Yuva Krishna
http://urfriendchennai.blogspot.com/2009/02/blog-post_10.html - Ram Suresh