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Kannadi Pookkal

Cast: Partibhan, Kaveri, Master Ashwin, Sarath Babu, Ponnambalam, Anandraj
Language: Tamil
Banner: Teamwork Productions
Director: K Shahjahan
Camera: Arthur Wilson
Music: S.A.Rajkumar
Year: 2005

The bonding between a little boy and his stepmother, and their unfailing trust in each other despite trying circumstances, is brought out with a touching sensitivity in Kannadi Pookkal. A remake of a successful Malayalam film Ente Veedu Appoontem, Kannadi Pookkal is totally different from the run of the mill movies.

Sakthivelís (Parthibhan) family is picture perfect with wife Meera (Kaveri) and son Vasu (Ashwin). Meera dots on her son, though we come to know later that she is his stepmother. But Vasu and Meera share an unusual bond and they are the best of friends. When Meera gives birth to a son, Vasu is the happiest and he names him Appu. But slowly Vasu feels that Appu is getting all the attention and he becomes restless and craves for attention.

One day when he feels neglected, he sprays the pesticide meant for gardening on little Appu so that he gets sick. But the baby dies immediately leaving the whole family in a state of shock and despair. The sentiments of a family drama and the nail-biting suspense of a thriller come into play from this point. Vasu cannot get out of the shock, and confesses to his mother about the incident. The parents realize that it was an accident and pardons him. But when the post mortem reports confirm the death as un-natural, a shrewd and sadist police officer Raj Kapoor investigates and takes Vasu into custody. He is taken for trial and sentenced to imprisonment in the Juvenile home. The parents are helpless, while Vasu goes through hell inside the jail. The climax of the film is the highlight, which has to be seen in the theatre to be enjoyed.

Quite clearly Ashwin, the young national award winner, is the prime star of the show and he steals the clap with an author-backed role. As the jealous but loving brother, whose immature actions lead to dreadful consequences, Ashwin is able to show myriad expressions. Though Ashwin's Malayalam accent is a distracting factor in the initial stages, by his fine performance he manages to hold audience attention. It is another emotion-driven role for Parthiban, after Azhagi and Thendral - the actor has given a mature performance. Kaveri is a revelation as Vasuís mother and she is very natural and spontaneous and is sincerity personified. Sarath Babu as the child psychiatrist and Raj Kapoor as the sincere police officer are convincing. Though a remake, director Shajahanís clever handling never allows even a moment of boredom to set in. The director has to be credited for casting fitting artistes for all the roles. Arthur Wilsonís camera is a major asset to the film. S.A.Rajkumar rehashes his own tunes. The film comes as a whiff of fresh air. It is a steamy tearjerker that leaves a lump in your throat.

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