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krishnaveni-panjaalai-review KRISHNAVENI PANJAALAI MOVIE REVIEW
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board

Starring: Hemachandran, Nandana, Renuka, Shanmugaraja, Balasingh
Direction: Dhanapal Padmanaban
Music: NR Ragunanthan
Production: Dr. Santhi Duraisamy

These are the days we are bombarded with commercial entertainers and these are also the times Tamil art-house cinema is almost beginning to sound like an oxymoron. However, a perfect blend of art house cinema and entertainment is always welcome and is becoming the norm of the day. Movies like Vazhakku En 18/9 tactfully straddled the thin line and provided us with a wholesome movie experience.

To some extent, director Dhanapal Padmanabhan has managed a balance between commercial and art-house cinema in Krishnaveni Panjaalai. What you get is a minimalistic view of characters and their lives in the movie. There is only straightforward storytelling, but the characters are somewhat neatly sketched out. However, this gives a feeling of interrupted film viewing.

As the name suggests, the movie is about the trials and tribulations of running a cotton mill. The mill’s function is mired with incessant labor issues and ineffectual management. The story circum-navigates people whose lives are entwined with the mill and how the functioning of the mill forms the fulcrum of their lives. Somewhere there is a love story thrown in along with an honor killing by a mother who is unrepentant about her acts.

In a story that has myriad potential to be turned into a sappy and sentimental fare, Dhanapal Padmanabhan exercises restraint and presents an outsider’s look into the lives of characters. The way the plot is structured is neat and on the whole the subject is treated with sensitivity. The stories unravel based on the timeline of the mill’s closure and as the characters go about their lives, it slowly dawns on you that they are jobless for about a year – all this while pulling through financial difficulties.

The movie is dotted with actors who effortlessly slip into the skin of the characters they play. You learn that Dhanapal conducted a 30-day workshop preceding the movie’s shoot and that the movie has, for the first time in Tamil, a casting director – Shanmugaraja. All these efforts are pretty evident as the characters wade in and out and gather your compassion as they appear onscreen.  Krishnaveni is a film on mill workers and being the son of a mill worker, Dhanapal has the advantage of presenting it in a perspective mostly unknown to others.

All the actors, Hemachandran, Nandhana, Rajiv Krishna, Shamugaraja, M. S. Baskar, Ajayan Bala, Renuka, Thennavan, Balasingh, Poovitha and Hemalatha have done a neat job of handling their roles. Suresh Bargav’s camera ensures that you do not wander from the story by highlighting just enough that is required for the movie’s script. And one get’s a feeling that the editing could have been better. N Raghunandan’s music is passable. But the song, Aathaadi and Un Kankal grabs your attention.

On the flipside, it’s unavoidable that you get a slightly off-handed feeling of a documentary hovering around Krishnaveni Panjaalai. Also in some places, the film goes over dramatic. However, with movies that dwell into issues that have never been explored, it seems the viewers can expect an uprising of such products in Tamil.

Verdict: Realistic portrayal of mill workers!

Tags : Krishnaveni Panjaalai, Hemachandran, Nandana, Renuka, Shanmugaraja, Balasingh, Dhanapal Padmanaban, NR Ragunantha
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