Kaadan Movie review: Prabhu Solomon’s Kaadan dilutes the effort of Rana Daggubati and falls off the track
Filmmaker Prabhu Solomon’s intent to convey the degradation of the forests has taken shape into the making of Kaadan. Rana Daggubati has played the titular role, Kaadan, while Vishnu Vishal essays Singa, a mahout. The primary problem of Kaadan begins with the amateur narration that does not carry the essence of the plot. Often, we have come across many storylines where elephants run out of forests, to the streets, seeking livelihood. Kaadan tries to justify the popular news story by taking a dig at the ‘insensitive’ political system.
The difference between a documentary film and a mainstream film is the former travels through the root of reality while the latter tries to balance the realism using the fictional narrative. As a viewer, you can’t help but wonder which category this film falls under.
While geography is one factor to induce the audience into a story world, exploring the livelihood is significant. Kaadan‘s alienated characterisation puts a barrier between him and the rest of the elements in the story (including the audience). Kaadan is sturdy and contains a hugely-built body. He cares for the elephants in the forest and campaigns against the system that attempts to disturb the harmony of the forest.
Director Prabhu Solomon’s narration has lingered in the idea of preserving elephants and forests, thus making the story-telling monotonous and mundane. We understand that, though Solomon had all the liberty to make it into a documentary, he opted to cast big stars to reach the masses through a commercial film.
However, none of the elements in the film drives the audience into the story except two to three moments. One among them is the recital of Kaadan’s ancestral history. Solomon’s angst against deforestation loses its track and got consumed by subjective emotions. Rana Daggubati’s dedication to the role should be appreciated. It makes us wonder if Solomon’s altar-ego has been transformed into Kaadan.
The anthropological studies have already taught contemporary humans about evolution, culture, relation with nature and extinction. Therefore, while talking about forests in films, one needs not just text-book knowledge but also the nuances of artistic revelation.
Solomon should have considered the evolution of today’s Tamil film audiences who no longer celebrate films dependent on only scenic visuals and saturated emotions; thanks to smart-phones and high-tech digital cameras.
Prabhu Solomon could have easily conveyed the much-needed social message via a different medium, which could have saved, the 2 hours 30 minutes on the silver screen.