What is it with the elephants and director Prabhu Solomon? His fixation on the largest existing land animal is evident in his filmography after the success of his film Kumki. Stars in Tamil cinema have many weird sentiments, film maker Prabhu Solomon’s seems to be one involving elephants. While the sequel of Kumki is in post production stage, the director has finally brought his long delayed project to the theaters. This time around he attempts to make his flick talk about the negative effects of deforestation and importance of elephants. To do that he takes inspiration from real life environmentalist Jadav Payeng, popularly known as the forest man of India, who have planted several thousand trees single handedly. Rana Daggubati who got married last year is back on screens with his trilingual drama Kaadan – in which the Bhallaladeva actor plays the comrade of elephants. So how has the animal human relationship drama come out? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
The film follows the life of a nemophilist Veerabarathi aka Kaadan (Rana Daggubati) who habitats in the jungle. His ancestors are the ones who have donated those lands to the government in order to develop and conserve the forest region. Since he grew up in the forest he has developed the ability to recognize the sounds of all animals living there and sometimes even have a conversation with trees in there. He would go to any extent to keep them safe. The entertainer opens with Kaadan seated near a fresh water stream where a herd of elephants is drinking water. Then we get a look around of the greenish surrounding with soothing sounds of animals in the background. This serene locality gets the attention of Kurinjinathan (Anant Mahadevan), the environmental minister and a real estate corporation. They plan to build a luxurious township with all facilities including a golf club. They break ground to begin works. Kaadan realizes his tranquil living in the wild along with the birds and animals is under threat. So he steps in and tries to explain to them how the construction would affect the habitation of animals. He asks them to get away from the forest and acts as hindrances to continue their work.
The minister uses his influences and takes Kaadan under custody and tortures him. In the meantime, they drive away the elephants from the place with the help of Maara (Vishnu Vishal), owner of a kumki elephant. After driving out the elephants they build huge walls isolating the township area from the forest. Then Kaadan is set free. He comes back to the forest only to see the hugely risen walls and the sufferings of elephants due to their bewilderment in finding their regular path for water. Raged Kaadan decides to take down the wall with the help of the elephants. Will he succeed in his fight against the influential minister and restore the tranquility of the forest, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Director Prabhu Solomon has taken up one of the contemporary issues that are threatening the world right now, to build his plot. He tries to show the negative effects of deforestation. He manages to kick start the drama well but as the film unfolds our interest on the flick mitigates. This is not only because of the weak execution but also because of poor characterization. Many characters in the entertainer ends or disappears abruptly, we do not know what happened of them. There is a love track that also disappears just like that. This sort of treatment makes it hard for us to pin for the characters, resulting is failure to evoke empathy for what is happening to the characters on the screen, except occasionally.
Of late, problem with story teller Prabhu Solomon’s flicks are they tend to be openly preachy, and suffer from the exaggeration of the issue that he wants to depict. Even Kaadan wobbles because of the same stumbling blocks. For instance, the scenes involving Kaadan taking on the highly equipped team of influential people entirely on his own with the assistance of elephants are hard to buy. Besides the VFX quality do not support film maker Prabhu Solomon’s mission to have elephants as one of his main characters. Also, talking about an issue relative to the climatic change but failing to lay light on the climatic change subject is slightly disappointing.
Actor Rana Daggubati has delivered an impressive performance though at times he seems to over perform and that is only because of the dramatic tone of the scenes. The actor has worked hard to get under the skin of Kaadan. He fights hard to shoulder the flick on his shoulders but the weight of bad execution is too much for him to bear. Actor Vishnu Vishal makes his presence felt even with limited screen space. The rest of the cast has delivered a middling performance.
On the technical front, the only bright point with Kaadan is its cinematography. Cinematographer A. R. Ashok Kumar’s frames have captured the beauty of tranquil nature of forest quite well. Music Director Shantanu Moitra’s background score adds value to the movie. Editor Buvan seems to have trimmed many portion is some urgency.
On the whole, director Prabhu Solomon had a potential script on hand but his execution and collapse of technical departments has let down Kaadan.
Visitor Rating: 1 Stars
Visitor Rating: 5 Stars