One Line Review: ‘Paava Kadhaigal’ is a Tamil Anthology film directed by four of the best film-makers released as a four-part series based on honor killings and their brutality.
Release Date: 18 December 2020
What’s it About?
‘Paava Kadhaigal’ is a collection of four films made by four filmmakers trying to narrate the story of honor killings and its cruel reality that still persists in our society.
“This latest anthology, directed by four exciting filmmaking voices in Tamil cinema, is a raw and at times brutal conversation piece on the sins that people do in the name of family honor.”~ Times Of India
Paava Kadhaigal deserves a rating of 7.5/10 for all the four films taken as a whole.
‘Paava Kadhaigal’ starts with Sudha Kongara’s Thangam. Sathaar is a transwoman who is in love with her childhood friend Saravanan aka Thangam. She is treated as a misfit by almost everyone in society and the story is set during the late 1980s.
Sathaar learns from Saravanan that he is in love with his sister. Despite his love for Saravanan, Sathaar decides to help him get closer to his sister and even manages to help them elope with the money he had saved for his surgery to change his gender so that he can finally marry Saravanan.
The fate that awaits Sathaar sheds light on the brutality of the society.
Love Panna Uttranum
The second part of the film is Vignesh Shivan’s ‘Love Panna Uttranum’. The story revolves around twins – Adhilakshmi and Jothilakshmi. Jothilakshmi is living abroad in a city and Adhilakshmi is living in her village with her father, a feudal lord – Veerasimman.
Veerasimman boasts in public that he is in support of intercaste marriage for political benefits but in reality, he is completely against this idea and has a group of goons to kill anyone who is involved in such marriages or relationships.
Adhilakshmi discloses her relationship with her family driver to her father and Veerasimman acts like he is in their favor. But behind her back, he orders to kill his daughter.
Jothilakshmi comes back to the village with her friend Penelope and finds out that her sister is killed. She says that she is in a lesbian relationship with Penelope when her father suspects her to be in a relationship with her friend B3.
What happens with Jothilakshmi is the rest of the tale.
The third part of the film is Gautham Vasudev Menon’s ‘Vaanmagal’. Sathya and Mathi are a happily married couple with three children – Vaidehi, Ponnuthayi, and Bharath.
While Vaidehi hits puberty, Mathi can be seen advising Vaidehi that how her body should be treated as a temple. Suddenly a day, their 12-year-old girl Ponnuthayi is kidnapped by some men and will be sexually abused.
While Ponnuthayi is left back at her house, she is seen traumatized and the whole family finds it hard to confront that situation. The way they choose to handle this situation is the crux of the story.
The last part of the film is ‘Oor Iravu’ directed by Vetri Maaran. Oor Iravu sheds light on the relationship between a father and his daughter. Sumathi is a happily married woman who stays with her husband.
She is away from her family as her father, Janakiraman cast her out of the family due to her relationship with a lower-cast man to whom she is married now.
When Sumathi gets pregnant, Janakiraman visits her and apologizes for his behavior, and invites her to his place. Sumathi returns to her house and is seen happy for being back with her family.
However, her happiness is seized forever when Janakiraman starts to show his true colors.
I hate this part. Rating the performances of the actors in this series will be the hardest thing because firstly, the directors knew exactly what they want and they picked up the perfect fits for their characters.
Though, to start with, Kalidas Jayaram’s performance as Sathaar was widely appreciated by everyone.
I’ll just stop here because the rest of them were equally awesome and were kind of competitive too, especially Sai Pallavi under the direction of Vetri Maaran.
To put it in simple words: Thangam > Love Panna Uttranum > Oor Iravu > Vaanmagal. Undoubtedly, all four filmmakers have made their respective versions in their style.
While Thangam and Oor Iravu is direct adaptations of brutality in honor killings, Love Panna Uttranum ends up like a black comedy and Gautham Menon’s Vaanmagal climaxes with a positive note.
Final Verdict 👍
The four extremely talented filmmakers under one roof – what more reason do you need to add this anthology to your bucket list??
Must Watch 👍