Paava Kadhaigal is an anthology cinema co-directed by Vetrimaran, Gautham Menon, Sudha Kongara and Vignesh Sivan. Comprising of 4 narratives about caste pride and dignity, and documenting gruesome killings, Paava Kadhaigal makes you doubt morality itself.
The actors are in phenomenal shape and the abridged story style gives them and the directors, the framework to create wretched patriarchy portraits that are dramatically sculpted, severe and disturbing. The movie gives us an outline of caste-related violence and violence based on gender.
1- Thangam by Sudha Kongara Prasad is a well-made short film that demonstrates the struggle to which every transperson is subjected, portraying the violence inflicted on the third gender. Kalidas Jayaram, who is an oppressed, humiliated trans woman, Saththaaru, whose status as a woman is repeatedly and routinely rejected by the society in which she lives, played the central role.
2- Vetri Maaran's Oor Iravu depicts the cruelty a father can bring to his daughter Sumathi only because of his belief since the societal strain causes him to lose his sense of what is right and wrong. The performance of Sai Pallavi is fantastic, and as her father, who values honour over love, Prakash Raj is perfect for the role.
3- The third episode, Vaanmagal, by Gautham Menon, deals with innocence lost at a tender age. It's a story about a minor being assaulted by an adult. Her family, however does not report to the police out of fear that it will ruin the reputation of their family. The show shows how the parents feel sorry for the minor as they realise that the perpetrator gets away and the victim is blamed for anything even in a case such as this.The insightful statement from the trailer about how women bear the burden of family honour and reputation is from this episode, one that is almost a thread in all the films in this anthology.
4- Love Panna Uttranum by Director Vignesh Shivan follows the story of twin daughters played by Anjali, Kalki Koechlin and what occurs when they reveal their love to their father . The script is carelessly crafted, even though the film is a dark comedy , and gets incredibly troublesome at the end.
Upon hearing the title track of the movie, 'Kanne Kanmaniye', the audience is left uncomfortable and restless since it depicts the disturbing presumption that the same parents who love and admire their daughters so much, calling them Kanne and Kanmaniye, somehow cultivate the hypocrisy required in order to be able to inflict in the name of honour unimaginable atrocities towards them.
Paava Kadhaigal narrates that, no matter who you are, everyone is in the hands of a society that imposes its class, caste and gender laws viciously and stops at nothing to smash apparent resistance and threaten individuals who try to break the pattern. It is painful, devastating, promising, and is also grimly amusing, perhaps because, for the young people who wanted to tear down the unfair social norms, we've mostly heard or read about situations whereby things did not end well.
Paava Kadhaigal is currently streaming on Netflix