As The Swivel Chair Spins #5
Let me be honest, I underestimated what Kannum Kannum Kolaiyadhitaal was going to be. The first five minutes is just Dulquer Salman driving a car which says DQ on its license plate, there is also mention of his Kerala female fandom (yaawn), there was the genuinely irritating Vijay TV sidekick quota, it confirmed my fears that this was a generation film i.e not for me.
I sat through nevertheless and things got interesting.
After a song (or two, sorry didn’t notice) and usual love interlude, we really come to know what our heroes are up to: they are small cons who utilize the gaps in the ecommerce system to profit and they are of course not bound by any morals. But with them is that small niggling thought at the back that they would be caught.
If they have shown a thief, they will show police also- enter Gautham Menon as DCP Pratap Chakravarti (DCP PC?), how he will catch these small time crooks is the rest of the story.
Or so I thought.
Kannum Kannum Kollayadithal is that kind of movie that stacks up a bunch of carpets and pulls it one by one from under my feet.
But thankfully I was seated.
KKK is a very competent investigation thriller, the policemen use logic to get from one clue to another, it is also a competent heist film- be it in the objective, team assembly, planning and showing things when they don’t go according to plan.
Lessons from the screenplay has a great video comparing two mission impossible films and how they execute their best heists, I would say KKK too has some elements of them in it and kudos for getting elemental genres right, it’s rare in a tamil film.
But KKK is one of those rare things which try to show that they are about something, but is about something else and succeed in both- I am not getting into the morals portrayed but in a way a concept is presented.
If you have not seen Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal then you should stop reading after this sentence. <SPOILERS>
<SPOILERS, there is no other way to explain without going into spoilers sorry>
The concept of no one is a yogiyan (sorry couldn’t find an immediate english equivalent) is worked into the story and comes full circle, everybody is in some way a criminal and in some way there is no big or small crime- the magnitude of that doesn’t matter.
But where the move falters is when it tries to become a hero and co winning just because they are hero and heroine types, but why, anyone could have won. It also falls into the Petta trap of suddenly making solid characters look weak so that the hero can win.
I can disagree with the concept and still like the film. So in a film full of bad guys, does the hero heroine looking types win just because they are hero heroine types?
Maybe DCP Pratap might ultimately catch up with them in the end? Maybe their money will dry out in Thailand and they will fully realize the folly in their lives? Maybe some natural tragedy will befall them.
I closed the TV thinking, yeah they are happy for now, but not for long.Just like that final shot in the Graduate. Things happen to people. That’s just my coded narrative watching habits.
In Moondru Deivangal, one of the finest Tamil movies ever made; Sivaji-Muthuraman-Nagesh play thieves who are out of jail and trying to con a very simple retailer, the goodness of their family ultimately changes the trio- but still they use their history tricks to protect this simpleton and ultimately go back to prison.
Bad guys winning is fine, but for me it is more rewarding when they end up turning into good people, it’s a movie, it gives closure, it gives purpose for them to have been crooked in the first place.
But closure as they say
It is unfair to compare two movies, even if they are similar, there are other movies in which the relatively good-bad guys win like for example the Ocean’s trilogy which is a lot more than heist films, but it clearly establishes the meanest of the mean, the annoyerest among the annoyers.
Meanwhile in KKK, even GVM is smart, the drug dealer is smart and powerful but the guys getting away with it are just because they are like hero and heroine of this generation. That didn’t sit well. No it didn’t and pulling Oceans and Moondru Deivangal into this was a bad idea.
Should have never done that. All I wanted to say is that you have introduced a concept very well- whatever be the morals, very convincingly but not going the full distance. Pch.
Still a very engaging watch.