Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baana Kathadi - Movie Review

Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire gave a rather crude portrayal of the slums of Mumbai, a portrayal that created quite an uproar in India, since Indians felt it was very negative. But this uproar was deowned by the applause the movie received when it waltzed away with eight Oscar awards. But down South, it's not uncommon for movies to be based on people living in the lower economic strata. With the success of movies such as Naan Kadavul, capturing life below the poverty line is what is hot right now.

Produced under the prestigious Satyajyothi Films banner ( which has given the neat entertainers Moondram Pirai, Kizhaku Vasal, Idhayam, Parthiban Kanavu, Em Magan and Jayam Kondaan), Baana Kathadi, directed by Badri Venkatesh, is set in the slums of Chennai. The film also marks the debut of actor Murali's son Atharva. Producer Sathajyothi Thyagarajan, who made Murali a household name through Pagal Nilavu, is all set to make his son famous too! Chirpy newcomer Samantha, who played Trisha's role in the Telugu version of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, is the female lead. Prasanna plays a prominent role in the film. The word "Baana" puts a smile on the faces of teh public, as it brings back sweet memories of their childhood. Titled after the jumbo of kites, the title suggessts it will be a complete youthful entertainer.

Yuvanshankar Raja, who has his finger on the pulse of today's youth, composes the music of Baana Kathadi. The technical crew includes Richard M. Nathan (Camera), Badri Venkatesh (Story), G. Radhakrishnan (Dialogues), Rock Prabhu (Stunts) and Suresh Urs (Editing). Karunas in a vital role provides comic relief.

Touted to be a slice-of-life film, the movie promises to be another moving story on the seamy side of society. Set in the slums of Royapuram, it is a realistic entertainer in which Atharva plays a guy from a lower middle class family who loves flying kites. He falls in love with a rich girl and also gets involved with an underworld gang. What happens next forms the rest of the story.

The Plot

In the maddeningly crowded streets of Royapuram, Ramesh (Atharva),a plus two student and avid kite flyer, bumps into Priya (Samantha). During this collision she loses her pen drive containing a six-month project, her ticket to her final examination in fashion technology. With a three-day grace period to find the pen drive, she goes in search of Ramesh. As you guessed, the search leads to the start of a beautiful relationship. As usual, it is friends who nudge him towards love. Some misunderstandings pull them apart before they realize their mutual love but fate has other plans for them.

Meanwhile, Ramesh witnesses the murder of an ex-MLA committed by local goon Ravi (Prasanna). It is a moment of agony for Ravi, who has a soft corner for the Ravi and his friends. But Ravi warns Ramesh to leave the place and go elsewhere. So will Ramesh leave his loved ones and kites? Watch out in Baana Kathadi.

The Performances

Newcomer Atharva steals the show with ease and deserves all credit for his great opening. Samantha is pretty and looks apt for the role. Prasanna as the menacing goon is a scene stealer. He proves that acting is actually a job that can be done well if you have the mettle. Karunaas as Kumar provides the laughter element. T.P. Gajendran and Monica as Atharva's mother do their parts well. Richard's beautiful camera works, Badri Venkatesh's racy screenplay, Yuvanshankar Raja's hummable tunes and Suresh Urs' sleek editing make the film more interesting and thrilling.

Baana Kaathadi Songs



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