‘Kondaan Koduthaan’ (Tamil)
Director: G Rajendran
Cast: Kathir kaaman, Adhvaitha, Ilavarasu ,Kanja Karuppu,Rajkapur, Ashwin
He was a cinematographer who had wielded the camera for many of director V Sekhar’s films (‘Naan Pudicha Maappilai’, ‘Pondaatti Sonna Kaettukkanam’). And now veteran cameraman G Rajendran picks up the megaphone for his debut directorial venture ‘Kondaan Koduthaan’, which he scripts too, apart from wielding the camera.
The plot revolves around two families who are related by marriage, and have a long lineage of carrying on the tradition of marrying into each other’s families. A scenario which justifies the title. It permeates to the present generation too. The siblings of one family all set to marry their cousins from the other family. But a rift between the two families due to the machination of rivals, threatens to break the decades old trust and bonding between them.
And, the game of kabadi runs like a common thread through the whole narration, as we follow the upheavals in the life of protagonist Raasu (Kathir), a passionate kabadi player. At one critical point the game even dictates the course of his love life, and causes the loss of his dear ones. But the games of kabadi between rivals, despite its high stakes, never really reach the point of high thrill or excitement for the viewer.
The director has focused on his plot with very few distractions. Appreciably he has avoided scenes of overt glamour and double entendre. But the script is dialogue centric, the camera remaining static many a time as characters deliver their lines grouped in front of it. It gives the feel of watching a stage play. There are quite a few lapses in the screenplay, and some of the situations seem contrived. The scenes leading to the rift between the members of the two families who were so strongly bonded, lack conviction. So does the twist and the explanation given for the death of Raasu’s cousin who was recently wedded to his sister.
There is the most unconvincing moment where a man with his throat brutally slit and presumed dead, suddenly opens his eyes and gives a pep talk before breathing his last. It’s a scenario where there is a song for almost every character and for every occasion. And bits of the theme song are played in the background, every time a character goes through a crisis in his life.
In the final analysis, ‘Kondaan Koduthaan’ has a style of scripting and treatment, which would have been suitable for an audience, a couple of decades back.