So you thought our movies are getting novel with their indigenous stories and delightful performances? Not so much. Kanden is strictly old-schoolish romance, but not particularly in a nostalgic manner you would want any old-school romance to be. It’s your regular boy-meets-girl, boy-falls-in-love and will-the-boy-marry-the-girl-after-the-obstacles kind of story. Not that we have a problem with such stories, but there’s a thin line dividing the ‘treading the beaten path’ exercise; that makes it either to make it exciting or insipid. It requires a lot of expertise.
Director C Mugil has attempted to bring about a romantic caper with good-looking cast, peppy music and eye-ball-grabbing cinematography thrown in for good measure. He has almost got it right but for the basic problem his exercise is facing. His script is just not as sprightly; not as full of beans as the movie’s music. Or say, the actors who have tried their best to come up with endearing performances despite the lack of the indispensable twists and turns in the story.
Kanden is the story of Vasanth, who sets out to meet a girl of his dreams lest succumb to his rich grandfather’s threat of ‘arranged-marrying’ him. Meet he does and its love at first sight for him. And as the love matures, he has to pull out all the stops to make his dream girl love him for he has lied to her and that lie is the basis of this love/relationship.
Vasanth, played by Shanthanoo Bhagyaraj, is your regular chocolate boy who meets his dream girl in the most stereotyped way. He plays blind to earn the sympathy of Narmada, played by the perky Reshmi Gautam. You either have to be as daft as a brush or a Tamil film heroine to fall in love with someone sympathizing for their physical disability – that too at the first meeting. Shanthanoo’s beatific smile sits comfortably on his lips and on the character’s shoulders almost convincing us about the strength of his character. But as the movie progresses, we fail to connect with the character and hence Shanthanoo’s Vasanth is left in limbo despite his earnest efforts.
The movie’s glam-quotient is Reshmi Gautam. She shows streaks of brilliance every now and then, lighting up a few scenes with her demeanor and smile. She seems to be the one who knows what she is doing onscreen and has the potential, provided she makes smart choices.
Kanden seems to take ever to lumber towards the interval the least. Santhanam’s presence and his usual antics could do very little to brighten up the movie’s proceedings in the first half. As a result, you end up wondering where the movie is headed to. As if to patch it up, the Shanthanoo–Santhanam combo works well enough to keep you hooked.
On the upside, the movie has some really peppy songs. Thanks to debut music director Vijay Ebenezer’s two songs ‘Unai Kandene’ and ‘Eno Nenjam’ manage to make you hum long after the movie is over. The fact that they are shot beautifully in stunning locations also play up to the success factor of these songs. But otherwise, Kanden simply doesn’t manage to stand out in terms of anything else. It’s just another uninspired version of a candy floss romance that fails to impress.
Verdict: Candy(floss) gone bitter!