Starring: : Nakulan, Poorna, Santhanam, Sampath Raj.Direction: S. SakthivelMusic: DhinaProduction: ESK Films International
He hates love, she loves it. He loves her, but she is not sure if she feels the same. That is Kandha Kottai in a nutshell. Nagulan plays a boy who absolutely detests the very thought of a young boy and girl falling in love and getting married. His dislike stems from the fact that his parents were one such couple long ago. But their married life was not as rosy as their love story. Their constant quarrels lead their son to believe that love can only be wrong. With nothing but opposition for romance, his only mission seems to be to terminate all love stories that he is aware of. That is where Poorna enters. If Nagulan’s character is from the South Pole, Poorna’s ought to be from the North. Their thinking is diametrically opposite and Poorna believes in supporting every love story that she is aware of. Expectedly, both of them do not have a love story of their own. While Nagulan is at his regular job of mangling up another love story, a very drastic turn of events changes his outlook towards love. He starts believing that love can be pure and true after all. It is not long before he develops a soft corner for the girl who made him feel good about love, which happens to be Poorna. But Poorna, the constant advocate for love, is not quite sure about her feelings towards him. Why? That is where a third
person comes into the picture. Though he exits soon after, it is his character that is responsible for all the subsequent events in a very ironical manner. What happens to Nagulan’s love and how the events affect their life is what Kandha Kottai is all about.At the outset, the concept is very interesting. A young man who is totally against romance is definitely a new mould for a protagonist. We are usually used to seeing heroes who constantly keep talking about the beauty or pain of love. Here, Nagulan’s character just does not care, he wants love to disappear from earth. Nagulan’s and Poorna’s characters represent a classic ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ clash. Both of them land on earth in a twist of events. Things are interesting up to this point in the story. One expects to an extension of this clash and their efforts to cope with it in the second half. But, a bit disappointingly, the script has swayed to commercial commands. There appears a regular villain with a ‘kill at sight’ philosophy who is out to avenge someone dear to him. There is lot of running around and action which takes away from the positive impact of the unique theme that was established in the first half. But, this is not to say that the second half is completely boring or predictable. Though unmistakably a commercially driven sequence of fights and dialogues, it has been executed pretty well. The viewer’s patience is not tested, nor is the film stretched unduly for too long. The action sequences have turned out well, Nagulan has worked hard for them Performances have kept up to the demands of the script. Nagulan continues the good efforts that he put into his last two films. Be it in the first half where he disrupts many a love story, in the songs, or in the stunt sequences, he has done all of them well. He has shown his ability to grow into a dependable action hero if the right scripts are available. Poorna looks much better than in her previous films. Her performance, especially in the songs, makes her a possible candidate for the top rung of Kollywood heroines; especially because Asin is busy up north. Sampath, as the stereotypical villain is just right for the role. But, it is Santhanam who steals the show throughout the first half. The timing of his dialogues is an absolute delight and lights up the audience. At many points he reminds one of Vennira Adai Murthy in his early days.Music by Dhina is a positive for the film. Two numbers in particular, ‘Eppadi ennul kadhal’ and ‘Unnai kadhali enru’ impress. The costumes and camera are pleasing to the eye. Overall, the music is very much unlike the Dhina we have known till now. Other departments have done well enough to carry the film through, though there is nothing much of note. Debutante director S Shakthivel proves that he has got the mettle to make a name for himself. He needs a few good scripts for that.
Kandha Kottai is an interesting concept which could have been sustained for the entire length of the film. But, commercialism and action take over in the second half, robbing the film of its main theme. This disappointment apart, Kandha Kottai is a decent attempt at a youthful entertainer with honest performances and hummable music.Verdict: A love-hate relationship