Mother sentiment is a classic angle of Indian cinema. It has been quite a while Tamil cinema has had a film utterly dedicated to mother son relationship. In comes director Shree Karthick’s Kanam to end the drought. The drama is about a budding musician who along with his two friends travels back in time to alter the death of his mother. Actor Sharwanand who was last seen on screens in Tamil in the romantic drama JK Enum Nanbanin Vaazhkai is back on screens with his science fiction film Kanam. Actress Ritu Varma has essayed the female lead role in the movie. So, how has the science fiction movie Kanam come out? Will it be a memorable comeback entertainer for Sharwanand in Tamil? To know that let us get into the movie review.
Kanam opens in 1998 to a time travel experiment conducted by two scientists Rangi Kutta Paul (Nassar) and Michael Roy (Yog Japee) on their newly discovered time machine. The machine fails, and Michael Roy loses his life in the process. The scene cuts to 2019, where we are introduced to Adhi (Sharwanand), an aspiring musician whose performance anxiety predicament keeps him from pursuing his dream. His life is made tolerable by his friends Paandi (Ramesh Thilak) and Kathir (Sathish) who have their fair share of problems in life to deal with. On one occasion, Paandi who makes a living as a real estate agent gets a call from Paul to find him a house. Paandi takes Adhi and Kathir with him. There Adhi stumbles up on vintage boxes dated back to 1998. He finds it weird as the boxes are dated just a day before his mother (Amala Akkineni) died. He shares it with his friends. Paul eavesdrops the conversation.
He makes a proposition to Adhi. Explaining about his time travel experiment, he tells him he could save his mother, and seeks his help in saving the life of his dear friend Michael Roy by averting the experiment from happening. Paandi and Kathir join Adhi on the mission to try and alter their lives for better. They set up the time machine in a dilapidated house. Paul elaborates on rules and mechanism of time travel. He then sets them up on an expedition back in time to 1st of march 1998. Arriving at the set date, they try to acquaint themselves with their younger self. Adhi connects with his mother, Kathir aims to build a friendship between his younger self and Sita, while Paandi works on getting his younger version to focus on studies. In an unexpected turn of events, the younger versions of them travel to 2019 using the time machine while the adults get stuck in 1998. Will Adhi, Paandi and Kathir find a solution to make it back to 2019, and how they unravel the complex situation, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Kanam is anchored on the evergreen ‘Amma Sentiment’ that clicks well more often than not. Director Shree Karthick bakes a poignant film in Kanam. But he does not wish his film to just be confined within the emotional drama spectrum. So, he gets a tad creative. And spins a time travel concept, tosses in a few life lessons, and peppers them with 90’s nostalgia toppings. He seems to have a clear understanding of what he wants his film to be, and does not pretend otherwise. He does not aim to pull off a brain bending sci-fi movie. But rather seeks to craft an enjoyable emotional drama. In which he succeeds to a large extent.
Largely, movies made with Amma sentiment as their nuclei could not escape from getting histrionic. Even with Amma sentiment as its core, Kanam does not get melodramatic. Director Shree Karthick is cautious to not go overboard and milk the emotions of the audience. He ensures to maintain the light-hearted tune. He does that smartly by engineering three other sub plots. Taking off the focus away from the main plot at regular intervals. Even more refreshing aspect about Kanam is, these sub-plots are not just some filler portions, but interestingly a backstory for the friends of the lead hero, who are usually treated with great disdain in cinema. On the down side, nostalgia is built in the form of the set-up during the period, and popular tv commercials from the 90’s. Leaving us with a feeling of discontent. Little effort here would have gone a long way. Also, after a certain point, the drama gets flat and predictable. From where it starts to lose our attention gradually, and almost completely well before the ending.
Actor Sharwanand has got under the skin of his character. But the actor overplays here and there in a few portions. Veteran actress Amala Akkineni makes her presence felt. Actress Ritu Varma’s role does not have much to carry forward the proceedings. Nonetheless, she has done justice to her part. Actors Ramesh Thilak, and Sathish are impactful but inconsistent in their task. Veteran actor Nassar serves the purpose for which he was brought on board. Actor M S Bhaskar makes an impact even in a limited screen time. Actor Ravi Raghavendra is operational. Actor Yog Japee is adequate. Actor Vaiyapuri is functional. Actors Jay Adithya, Hitesh, Nithyaraj, Madan Kumar, TSR, KPY Bala, Abhishek Kumar, and Arjunan have done their job well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Jakes Bejoy’s songs are not good but are not really bad either. His background score adds value to the film. Cinematographer Sujith Sarang has covered the drama from the best vantage points possible. His visuals are colorful, and aid in setting the poignant tone of the flick. Editor Sreejith Sarang has put his scissors at the right spots to cut out the junk clips enhancing the work of his colleague.
On the whole, Sharwanand’s Kanam rekindles the staunch ‘Amma Sentiment’ genre of the late 80’s but might not be everyone’s cup of tea.