Movies

Kannagi Review: A heartfelt Narrative Of 4 Women And Their Struggle Against Societal Norms And Expectations!

Even though the movie does consist of many messages, it isn’t trying to sermonize anything.

Director : Yashwanth Kishore

Cast : Keerthi Pandian, Ammu Abhirami, Vidya Pradeep, Shaalin Zoya

Some movies are intended to be a reflection of the society we live in, it could be a funny take on our relatable situations or an emotional depiction of society’s gaze, this movie tries to show an objective view of the 4 lives.

The movie shows us the parallel tracks of 4 women, Kalai, Nethra, Nadhi and Gita, played by Ammu Abhirami, Vidya Pradeep, Shaalin Zoya and Keerthi Pandian respectively. The supporting cast to these leads includes Vetri, Adhesh Sudhakar, Yashwanth Kishore, Mayilsamy, and Mounica who were all brilliant in their performance.

Kannagi is the story of these 4 women, Kalai is a young girl living in a small town in Tamil Nadu who is eager to get married. Her parents line up alliances for her and she is made to present herself in front of new families every now and then. After the first few times, her excitement dies down and she starts to detest the process. All three actors in this story are par excellence, Ammu Abhirami steals the show and is such a delight to watch on screen. This story is our favourite of the 4, it’s raw and understandable. No one is pictured to be wrong, we hear different people’s opinions and realize why they do what they do.

The second story features Nethra, whose husband wants a divorce but she isn’t ready to part ways. She is a victim of this society that has set expectations for what a woman must and mustn’t do. She is afraid to divorce him as she has been conditioned to believe that a woman is secure and respected only when she is married. Does she break away from the shackles of society or does she find a way to reconcile with her husband?

The next is Nadhi, played by Shaalin Zoya who is a rebel, she doesn’t stick to social norms. She has the main character’s energy, she does what she believes in irrespective of what the world says or does. She does come across as bratty and unhinged, but the intention is to portray a woman who holds no barriers. She’s living with her boyfriend but he proposes marriage, and their world turns upside down.

The last and the most serious story of the 4 is featuring Keerthi Pandian and director Yashwant Kishore. She is 4 months pregnant and is unmarried, he is an aspiring director and is struggling to make ends meet. They want to terminate the pregnancy but since is already crossed the number of months considered medically safe, no hospital or clinic entertains them.

Yes, the movie is long, but there are 4 stories that need equal attention and detailing. One might relate with one or more characters in the film since they are inspired by the women around you. We all know of a young woman being sarcastically taunted for not being married, or someone who doesn’t want to live by the rules the society has forged for them.
What is refreshing is that, no one is really painted as the bad guy, nor does the movie try to show the sad state of affairs for women. It’s trying to show you a mirror, a mirror that we all can see ourselves in.

The main protagonists of the film are women, but it doesn’t villainize the men. The men are mere supporting characters in the larger scheme of things. It reiterates the thought that it’s the conditioning that is the problem of our society. Men and women are influenced by the regressive thoughts that they have been fed for generations. While it affects women and their lives much more than it affects men, it doesn’t mean that women don’t propagate the same ideals. We see a supportive father in Kala’s Appa, he may not be able to do much for her in front of his dominating wife, but he is her confidant. When she is fed up with the number of boys she’s meeting, her father asks her what does she want to, when she replies by saying she wishes to be a writer, her father wants her to pursue it. But on the other hand, we see her mother’s monologue just before the wedding where she says that for a woman, marriage is her shield from society.

At some point in the movie, in fact, when three-fourths of the movie is watched, you will be left at cliffhangers with no answers. The climax of the movie is the best part, the story ties in so beautifully and you get all your queries instantly answered.

Even though the movie does consist of many messages, it isn’t trying to sermonize anything. Why is marriage considered the destination for every girl? How long will it take for society to understand the importance of financial freedom, especially for a girl? Will the paths of these 4 women cross at any given time in the movie? You have to watch the film to understand how intertwined yet isolated their tracks are.

 

Rating : 3.5/5

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