Director Badri Venkatesh’s maiden venture Baana Kaathadi was released today with some amount of expectation in the Kollywood film circle. The film has Atharva, veteran actor Murali’s son, and Samantha, who was the heroine in Telugu VTV, as the lead pair. Prasanna, Karunas and Manobala are in supporting roles and music is by Yuvan Shankar Raja. So what is Baana Kaathadi all about?Baana Kaathadi
The hero is a school student living in the crowded slum of North Chennai. He falls in love with a college going Fashion Technology student while chasing kites with his friends. The hero gets caught by the police in an unexpected situation which happens to change his life forever. What happens to the hero? Does he manage to marry the girl he fell in love with? Watch Baana Kathaadi if you want to find the answer to these questions.
Atharva is a school student whose hobby is to fly kites. It just happens that one day he bumps, quite literally, into Samantha. In the ensuing events, Samantha’s pen-drive finds its way into Atharva’s pocket. This makes Samantha go behind Atharva for two days as she has her college project in that pen-drive. Atharva’s mother manages to find it while washing clothes and he gives it back to Samantha. Thrilled by getting the pen-drive back, she decides to throw a party to Atharva and his friends. Love looms between the two. Now if you are wondering about the age disparity between the two, here is a clarification. Atharva is not a bright student at school and so he spends two or three years in every standard he studies. Good.
The hero decides to express his love and when the two meet in a beach, Atharva spills a pack of condoms, which he accidentally and unknowingly picks up from Karunas’ pocket. This infuriates Samantha who decides to dump his love. Meanwhile, Atharva happens to be a witness to a murder of an ex-MLA committed by Prasanna who lives in the same area. A sudden change of events lands Atharva behind the bars. What happens to Atharva, Prasanna and Samantha is the rest of the story.
The first half of Baana Kaathadi drags itself forward with high points here and there. It makes you wonder how a fashion technology student can fall in love with a school student (though an explanation is given). Maybe you excuse the director as he is allowed to use his cinematic freedom but the expression on Samantha’s face when the pack of condoms gets spilled is certainly questionable. We also wonder why Atharva does not make an attempt to hide it or give an explanation. In fact, the only scene in the movie which demands attention is when Prasanna kills the ex-MLA. The story shines in bits but falls flat in many places.
Atharva does a good job as the protagonist. He looks quite real as the school boy in the slums of North Chennai. But he does seem to have a lot more in him and has a lot of potential to make it big in Kollywood. Samantha does not have a lot of scope and has done a very ordinary job as the heroine. After her brilliant performance in Ye Maaya Chesave, it is quite natural to expect more from her. But she disappoints. Karunas and others have played their parts. Some of the comedy scenes do evoke laughter in the audience.
Director Badri Venkatesh could have handled the script a lot better. With a powerful production house and lots of talent at his disposal, he could easily have given much more powerful presentation. The screenplay does not demand attention at all and hence it is hard to hide a feeling of saturation when you are watching the movie. Even the romantic sequences between the two seem so artificial. Though the song numbers by Yuvan are fairly enjoyable it does not add strength to the otherwise ordinary movie. Same applies to the cinematography which is handled by Richard Maria Nathan. There is nothing more in the movie that is really worth mentioning.
With no other movies releasing this weekend and a dry Friday last week, this movie had all the potential to make it big. Unfortunately, poor handling of the script and actors is a major letdown in this movie. Atharva seems qualified to do better roles in the future. The movie has his moments but it is not enough to hold the movie-goer’s attention for long periods of time.
Verdict – Baana Kaathadi – does not fly high.