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KANAM Movie Review

‘Kanam’ sees Sai Pallavi, Naga Shaurya and Priyadarshi deviate from the kind of characters they usually play. Sai Pallavi isn’t the bubbly, vivacious girl, Naga Shaurya isn’t the light-hearted boy-next-door, nor is Priyadarshi the token best friend placed there to crack jokes and make merry. The story of a newlywed couple, reeling under the weight of a collective decision taken by their families five years ago is not an entertaining one. There are no fights, romance, love songs, et al in the film to make the story more palatable to the audience – just a film that deals with a serious subject in a confusing manner, making it unknown which side it clearly stands on right till the end.

The film sees Naga Shaurya play the role of Krishna, a civil engineer, who marries his sweetheart Dr Tulasi, played by Sai Pallavi, with the blessings of their parents. However, while Krishna seems eager and happy to have finally been wed to her, she seems to be going through the motions just for the sake of it. An incident when they were both 19 keeps haunting Tulasi and things get so out of hand that everyone involved keeps suffocating to death in mysterious ways.

Priyadarshi plays the role of a moustache-sporting SI Agni, a cowardly police officer obsessed with food and reality shows. Despite his fleeting nature, his constables are paying close attention, and the fact that these deaths keep happening in relation to Tulasi is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by them. Veronika makes a silent debut as the adorable, yet deadly entity Diya, who will go to any lengths to right the wrong done to her a few years ago.

The film weighs heavy with Asian horror influences; dealing with the themes of abortion, unhappy marriages, and innovative deaths. Enough screen time is spent on cherubic looking vengeful entities, beautiful camera angles, trippy sequences, at al. But with such intriguing elements, one would expect ‘Kanam’ to be nothing less than a thriller that will keep you guessing and at the edge of your seat. However, ‘Kanam’ fails to live up to that expectation and the predictability of the basic plot is what brings it down.

That is not to say ‘Kanam’ is not worth a watch, because this is still the story of a woman struggling to come to terms with the fact that her family had once taken away her right to choose, making her lose something precious in return. The film takes its own sweet time at certain instances, which might not sit well with those impatient to know more. The film has certain unforgettable beautiful sequences weaved around Sai Pallavi and her character Tulasi, that it almost makes one forget the heart-breaking subject it deals with.

Watch the film for Sai Pallavi and Veronika who emote beautifully well without even needing to utter a word, the stunning yet haunting music and BGM, camera-work that is so on-point and just for the overall treatment of it all – you will not regret it. Just don’t go looking for pure horror or something that will entertain or haunt you. If only the director had thought of inserting some suspense in the proceedings, and made it clear where the film stands on the pro-choice and pro-life debate and avoided the attempt to guilt-trip people right at the end, this one would’ve been something more.


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