Kanaa Review - A well played cover drive that comfortably reaches the boundary!
How often have we seen a sports film that touches upon a very relevant social issue, giving the two themes a near equal importance? Well that very easily can be termed as the one line of director Arunraja Kamaraj’s Kanaa produced by his long term friend and actor Sivakarthikeyan. Starring Aishwarya Rajesh in the lead role, Kanaa is a female centric film that revolves around the life of young Kausalya, who aspires to join the Indian Women’s cricket team and win the world cup for her father.
Coming off as an emotional film with numerous light moments, Kanaa has some really big positives that makes it the film that it is. The very first one being its casting. Right from the experienced Sathyaraj (Murugesan), who plays Kausalya’s dad till the smallest of its characters, the film’s actors have been cast on point.
Sathyaraj’s emotional quotient, Aishwarya’s athletics, will power, screen presence and determination, her mother’s care, the village team that brings to light her initial talent, the NCA camp women cricketers and to top it all, an extended cameo by Sivakarthikeyan who plays Nelson Dhilipkumar, almost all of the film’s cast have done a good job. Kanaa has a soul that holds together the entire film related to agriculture and cricket, with both having similarly linked scenes and situations keeping us engaged throughout. The effort that Aishwarya has put in for this character is mention worthy.
Arunraja Kamaraj, the captain of the ship has used dialogues as his trump card. Every dialogue of each of the important characters has a tinge of motivation and philosophy that pushes us to achieve our dream and this is well complemented by the interesting screenplay. We have seen many cricket based films before but what makes Kanaa different is this screenplay and the humour that is on offer in majority of the scenes. As a director, Arunraja shows immense maturity with the way he has handled multiple subjects and characters.
Few notable scenes include the ground fight sequence with a proper justification, the scenes that build up Kausi’s character and her interest towards cricket, the conflict that Kausi faces at NCA, Sivakarthikeyan’s motivational words and his flach back and definitely the climax match. The entire cricket match portions have been very professionally shot and kudos to the cinematographer Dinesh Krishnan for his quality work, especially with the movement shots. Edit by Ruben also seemed neat and crisp and catered to the genre of the film.
The second half, though showing some resemblance to Chak De! India, had a fairly fresh feeling due to its treatment. A few montages at the start of the second half could have been trimmed a little as this was the only part that seemed to have a tad bit of a lag. The girl who played the character of the Indian cricketer Gayathri in the latter half was quite impressive and provided the much needed in-team conflict.
Music by Dhibu Ninan Thomas serves as the backbone of the flick. The songs Oonjala, Savaal and Vaayadi Petha Pulla are stand-out numbers with respect to both audio and visuals and serve as an energy boost. The BGM is a sure shot winner as it gives goosebumps in a couple of places.
On the whole, apart from a slightly long second half, Kanaa has a lot of positives to boast about. The soul and emotion has been predominantly maintained and persists even after the film is over. Aishwarya Rajesh and Sathyaraj steal the show with their heroics and how the underdog chases the dream is a concept that everyone would enjoy if told in a convincing manner. Kanaa also questions the importance that we give to agriculture in our country and touches upon the issues that farmers face. SK and team have used women’s cricket as the marketing agent to sell the importance of agriculture and the climax leaves most of the people pondering as to what we could do about the sad plight of those who give us our food. Arunraja Kamaraj’s debut is a moving film that ends up as a match winner!
Kanaa is a good mix of cricket, emotions, agriculture and a lot more! Go for it as it is a positive, feel-good film which would engage all range of audiences with its game!