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Kolanji Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Wednesday, July 31, 2019 • Tamil ]
Kolanji Review
White Shadows Productions
Samuthirakani, Sanghavi, Rajaji, Naina Sarwar, Moorthy, Kribakaran, Nasath, Rajin, Rujil Krishna, Gopal, Rekha Suresh, Aadhira
Dhanaram Saravanan
Natarajan Sankaran

Kolanji - Coming of age tale that loses focus

The coming together of 'Moodar Koodam' Naveen as producer and Samuthirakani in the lead promises an intense message oriented film.  Does 'Kolanji' directed by Dhanaram Saravanan fulfill the expectations of the fans of the above-mentioned and the common man remains to be seen.

Kolanji is the twelve-year-old elder son of Appaswamy (Samuthirakani) and Pushpam (Sanghavi) who like all those in his age turns a trouble maker in the village and often gets beaten up by his dad. Appaswamy is a Periyarist and hence is the enemy of the upper caste men and also his wife's relatives.  Kolanji plays cupid between his cousins on either side of his parents Gemini (Rajaj) and Poonkodi (Naina Sarwar).  Pushpam's niece unintentionally burns the palm of Appaswamy's younger son and in the ensuing drama the angered father beats her up and also his wife.  Pushpam then leaves the house and goes to her brother's house and a delighted Kolanji eager to escape his father for a mistake he committed plans to keep his parents apart.  What happens next between all these characters and how all these issues are resolved forms the rest of the screenplay.

Its a cliche to state that Samuthirakani once again lives the character of Appaswamy but he truly does and his best moments are when he struggles to balance his Periyar principles and his family and the manner in which he changes his voice modulation to perfectly convey the gravity of the scenes when speaking to his wife, elder son, younger son and his enemies.  Its a nice comeback for Sanghavi after a decade or so as the mom who favors her elder son and shields him from his father and others.  There is a beautiful scene between her and her younger son when the latter comes for some keys and speaks supporting his dad.  The boy who has played Kolanji is a talent to watch out for scoring both in the realistic antics of his age group as well as a mass heroes like scenes in which he kills it with his swag and dialogue delivery.  The little boy who plays the younger son is clearly the star of the show and steals the thunder from all the other actors with his innocent charm and natural acting.  Rajaj and Naina Sarwal as the younger couple have gone through the motions in the romance scenes as well as the songs but their presence is not justified in the screenplay at all.  Naveen and Sendrayan appear as their 'Moodar Koodam' characters in a peppy Tamil glorifying song which is impressive though out of place.  The rest of the cast have all performed well not to forget Adi Thaangi who is a scream in a Goundamani like counter spouting character.

What works best in 'Kolanji' is the scenes between the father and son, the sibling rivalry between the boys that is expressed aptly through a Thala-Thalapathy battle, and the comedy scenes involving the boys.  The scene in which a barely ten years old tries to enforce his upper-caste dominance in a game of cricket is something that is still prevalent and when Kolanji and his followers teach him a non-violent lesson is laudable.

The biggest problem of 'Kolanji' is that the screenplay meanders on without direction and there is no grip from the filmmaker as to what message he wants to deliver at the core.  The entire love episode with three songs is not only a major irritant but also kills the energy out of the other interesting episodes.  The coming of age story of 'Kolanji' which is the core is also marred by presenting him like your average rowdy hero and that theme itself is not well explored and hence the relevant climax message just hangs in the air.

Natarajan Sankaran's music, Vijayan Munuswamy's camera, Athiyappan Siva's editing and the production values are representative of the screenplay and the budget.  Danaram Saravanan has chosen a very potential theme and has strewn a few important messages as well for which he should be congratulated.  But as far as making a film that engages the audience apart from educating them, he has been found wanting and all we could say is better luck next time.

Verdict : Go for the good performances from the cast and the more than a few relevant messages to boot.

Rating: 2.25 / 5.0

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