Paava Kadhaigal Movie Review: Watch full movie on Netflix for its documentation of current social issues

Netflix has rolled out its original anthology, titled Paava Kadhaigal (Sin Stories), which deals with honour, caste pride and complex relationships. Vetri Maaran, Sudha Kongara Prasad, Gautham Menon and Vignesh Shivan have directed the four short films on the aforementioned theme.

Director Sudha Kongara Prasad’s Thangam is a emotional story about Sathaar (Kalidas Jayaram), a transperson, from a Muslim community. His friend Thangam aka Saravanan (Shanthanu Bhagyaraj) is in love with Sathaar’s sister Sahira (Bhavani Sre). When Sathaar attempts to help Saravanan and Sahira, he faces repercussions.

Paava Kadhaigal Movie Trailer

Thangam is a well-made short film that hihglights the struggle every transperson is subjected to. Set around 40 years back time period, the film depicts the cruelty inflicted on the third gender. In Sathaar, Kalidas Jayaram brings out the empathetic and naive actor, which makes you root for her. Shantanu and Bhavani Sre’s anger in the last frame puts everything to perspective. Thangam works extremely well in the theme of Paava Kadhaigal.

  • Directed by Sudha Kongara
  • Vignesh Shivan
  • Gautham Vasudev Menon
  • Vetrimaaran
  • Produced by Ashi Dua
  • Rhea Kongara
  • Ronnie Screwvala
  • Avinash Viswanathan
  • Starring Kalidas Jayaram
  • Shanthnu Bhagyaraj
  • Bhavani Sre
  • Anjali
  • Kalki Koechlin
  • Padam Kumar
  • Simran
  • Gautham Menon
  • Aadhitya Baaskar
  • Prakash Raj
  • Sai Pallavi
  • Hari Krishnan
  • Music by Justin Prabhakaran
  • Anirudh Ravichander
  • Karthik
  • R Sivatmikha
  • Cinematography Theni Eswar
  • Ganesh Rajavelu
  • Jomon T. John
  • Production RSVP Movies
  • company Flying Unicorn Entertainment
  • Distributed by Netflix
  • Release date 18 December 2020
  • Running time 145 minutes (Season 1)
  • Country India
  • Language Tamil

Oor Iravu by Vetri Maaran

Cast: Sai Pallavi and Prakash Raj

Oor Iravu is the most interesting of the four short films that moves you from within. The film showcases the brutality a father (Prakash Raj) can put is daughter Sumathi (Sai Pallavi) through just because of his belief.

Without saying anything out loud, Vetri Maaran shows honour killing most effectively without being preachy. Sai Pallavi’s call for help disturbs you and yet you feel helpless.The film highlights how people feel when they come across such incidents on television or in the newspaper. Sai Pallavi’s performance is top-notch and Prakash Raj as her father for whom honour is more important than love , is perfect for the role. Be ready to get shaken when you watch Oor Iravu.

Cast: Simran, Gautham Menon and Adithya Baskar

Gautham Menon’s Vaanmagal is a story about a family coming to terms with the fact that the little girl (Ponnuthayi) in the family is raped. Ponnuthaayi’s mother Mathi (Simran), father Satya (Gautham Menon) and brother (Aditya Bhaskar) deal with the incident in their own way. While the communication is clean for most parts, it is slighlt confused in some places.

According to Mathi, a woman’s purity lies in her body and it’s problematic when she asks her daughter to behave like a woman when she hits puberty. Simran gives an great performance as Mathi and one would come out hating her by the end of the film. Gautham Menon’s performance shows us of all his heroes in all of his directorial ventures. His performance as the struggling father suits the genre. Adithya Bhaskar, too, performed well even, though his role is short.

Love Panna Uttranum by Vignesh Shivan

Cast: Anjali, Kalki Koechlin

Director Vignesh Shivan’s Love Panna Uttranum follows the story of twins Aadhilakshmi and Jyothilakshmi (both played by Anjali) and what will happen when they disclose their love to their father. Though the film is a dark comedy, the screenplay is awkawardly written. And the end message is slightly problematic.

The film is good in parts and a few dialogues like how women are far superior work well. But, Love Panna Uttranum looks wannabe and seems to be trying too hard to fall into the genre. From Kali being stereotyped to unwanted subplots, the film is all over the place.

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Photo credit Netflix

On the whole, Paava Kadhaigal gives us an summary of caste-based, gender-based violence and honour killings. The film is not a solution provider but documents the shortcomings in the society. If Vignesh Shivan and Gautham Menon’s short films had avoided some problematic stands, Paava Kadhaigal would be a fitting film to highlight the mindless violence against fellow human beings in the name of honour and caste.

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