Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal – Crafting A Winner

WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD

One of the true joys of going to the movies is watching a film with no expectations and it turns out to be great. This is exactly what has happened to me and many others with Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal. Written and directed by first-timer Desingh Periyaswamy, this is a rip-roaring ride that keeps subverting your expectations. What appears to be a standard rom-com transforms into something else. Telling you how this happens would be a disservice that will take away from your experience. First of all, I’d like to praise the director for having the conviction to not deviate from what he wanted to do. He doesn’t make any compromise for the sake of the audience.

So, what we get are characters that are amoral, realistic and best of all, entertaining. Despite a runtime that might look lengthy, the crispness in the writing keeps you hooked. A joke is never too far away and that is needed in a film like Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal. The casting is another strong point here. Having a seasoned actor like Dulquer Salmaan helps but the rest of the actors do a commendable job too. And what a revelation Gautham Menon is, pulling off the kind of swagger associated with his leading men. There is a sequence at the end of the film involving him that is sure to make you laugh.

By having the focus more on the story than the characters, the film keeps moving at an impressive pace. The first 15-20 minutes make you think that the film is a little cliched. This is perhaps intentional from the director as he wants to lull you into thinking what kind of film this is going to be. The interval block made me and many others in the theater audibly gasp. And it was heartwarming to see the kind of wild cheering that accompanied this moment. What makes Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal special is the commitment to the story. There are no shortcuts taken, no overly dramatic moments that hamper the proceedings.

Though we have a lot of technical information being thrown at us, it doesn’t feel like its too much. We go along with the ride and it proves to be thrilling and entertaining. The film works better if you have no expectations. Even if you go into it knowing how good it is supposed to be, try not to read too much about it. It is kind of ironic that I’m saying this in a review. So, go watch Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal and you will see why people are talking about this film. A brilliant debut from Desingh Periyaswamy that makes me excited to see what he comes up with next.

Until next time, bye.

Ustad Hotel – To Grandfather With Love

Ustad Hotel is a special film for a number of reasons. While all of us have something that we like, I’d like to talk about my personal connection to the film. In many ways, the film is about the bond between a grandfather and his grandson. This is the aspect of Ustad Hotel that appealed to me the most. From a very young age, I have been very close to my grandfather and seeing the bond between Dulquer and Thilakan filled me with so much joy.

There are a lot of themes that the film touches upon including Sufism, Altruism and the role that food plays in our lives. But this relationship is the beating heart of the film for me. Without the bond between Faizi and Kareem Bhai, the story wouldn’t move the way it does. Any scene with the two can be picked out and looked at but I have chosen one that is quite close to my heart.

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It is the scene they share on the beach where Kareem Bhai teaches Faizi the importance of love in any aspect of life. Seeing this scene brings back so many memories of time spent with my grandfather. Listening to old Hindi songs, making tea at midnight after watching a cricket/football match are all moments that come flooding back when I see Faizi and Kareem Bhai. The black tea or ‘Sulemani’ that they have encompasses all that the grandfather wants to teach his grandson.

This refers to the fact that we must include a little bit of love in whatever we do as that is what it makes anything better. I’m not totally sure if I have said something about Ustad Hotel in a coherent manner but sometimes that’s the way emotions work. They take hold of you and make you feel even when you don’t want to. I would like to thank Anjali Menon for writing a story that will forever be etched in my heart and mind.

Until next time, bye.