Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban is a drama film written and directed by RDM and starring Mime Gopi, Raveena Ravi, Suresh Ravi and Supergood Subramani, alongside other cast members.
In today’s political climate, we have come across violence at the hands of those in power too often. Switch on any TV channel or open a newspaper – you’ll find something harrowing or the other written on at least one page. Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban is an account of not just custodial violence, but of the strong hold that the powerful have on the common population.
Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban starts off with the lives of Prabhu and Indu, a married couple who are in a bit of a financial rut after they marry against her family’s wishes. However, things seem to lookup within the first few minutes of the movie – Prabhu gets the green signal to go to Dubai and Indu finds out that she’s pregnant. However, good times don’t really last long and after Indu is robbed and molested one night, Prabhu, in a fit of rage, rubs a policeman the wrong way. What follows is a harrowing ordeal that will keep you at the edge of your seat.
Every time Prabhu goes to the police station, you want to scream at him. Granted, he wasn’t incorrect. But with a pregnant wife at home, you want him to be safe and understand why it’s a bad idea. But Prabhu, on some whim, returns to the police station again and again, and every time something awful happens to him. Honestly, as a viewer, you can almost feel the shit that’s about to hit him from a mile away. However, ego, or the need to get justice perhaps, puts him in a position from where he is unable to come back.
What follows is scene after scene of Prabhu getting broken down physically and mentally. You will feel like raging at the sight of Mime Gopi and the likes. It’s difficult to understand their ego-fuelled power trips. The initial encounter seems kiddish enough – sure, Prabhu didn’t bow down to the police, but then there wasn’t any reason to either. However, their personal vendetta against someone who they know wouldn’t be able to retaliate is quite sad and anger-inducing.
Performances wise, Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban is great. Everyone, including Raveena Ravi, Suresh Ravi, Mime Gopi and Supergood Subramani, is amazing. Gopi, especially, is absolutely menacing as the remorseless inspector who tortures Prabhu without any end in sight. Raveena Ravi as Prabhu’s wife, too, is wonderful and puts forward the role of a bereaved wife convincingly.
It doesn’t help that Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban movie is based on true events. I think I have become quite wary of this tag since makers use it sometimes without rhyme or reason. However, this one is, and in the end, there’s a text card that talks about what happened following the events in the movie. Obviously, the last scene does not bode well for the protagonist, and that is made abundantly clear in the ending texts.
Summing up: Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban
Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban is not a feel-good movie. There’s no situation here where you feel relief. It’s a look at systematic abuse of power and how, in spite of being called public servants, people in power misuse their position to torture the common people. It’s a heartbreaking movie that relentlessly goes for your jugular and leaves you feeling sad and distressed. The movie will keep on reminding you that this is a prevalent thing in our country and that it happens all too often, unfortunately.
Kavalthurai Ungal Nanban is streaming on Zee5.
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