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C/O Kadhalan Review: It Is Heartwarming, If Somewhat Contrived



C/O Kaadhal(Tamil, Netflix)

Directed  by  Hemambar Jasti

Rating: *** ½ 

By  the end of the 2 hour-plus  film about four star-crossed  love-couple grappling with social strictures and  emotional sleepingdogs, all but one of  the  stories comes  to a tragic end. And  there’s a good reason for why that  one love saga survives.I can’t reveal the reason. Suffice it to say, C/O Kaadhal  crosses  all the dramatic  highs and lows in the plot with  confident steps, giving to four generations of  couples  a heap of hope  and  happiness  before snatching it away  in all but one instance.

 Set in a small sleepy town in Tamil Nadu buzzing with gossipy busybodies, C/O Kaadhal  is  a joyful experience , perhaps  more so  if  you  haven’t seen  the original  2018 Telugu  film  C/o Kancharapalem.My favourite  love story in  C/O  Kaadhal  is  the one between the upright  affable  peon  Palini(Deepan)  and his  new  boss  Radha(Sonia Giri). He  is  49 and she is  in her mid-40s. Can they dare  to overcome the  hurdles and  confront the frowns? This story  has some truly  credible acting by Deepan and  you  can’t help but care for these two middle-aged anxious  people  in  love. Radha’s daughter’s  “interview” with her mother’s  prospective husband is  a gem of an  encounter.

In fact the film brings you so close to the characters you feel their  pain and anxiety and you root  for their  right to love no matter  what their age.  Velu(Nishesh) is just  12. But   the intensity  of his feelings for his classmate Sunitha(Wetha) is  palpable. Velu’s heartbreak is  heartbreaking, as is his disillusionment  with  God  that leads to an unforeseen tragedy in his  young life.

By the  time the anthology ends two  of  the protagonists are dead  and  a  third, the father  of  the spirited Bhargavi(Ayra Palak) threatens  to hang  himself if she insists on  marrying her Catholic  ruffian-turned-whitecollar  lover Joseph(Krathik Rathnam). Here the touchy topic of conversion is  sneaked into the plot. But no  harm done. The director maintains  a tonal  clarity in his narration that eschews all morbidity, confers every  story with an understated nobility and  grace.

 I love  Dhaadi(Vetri)’s  love for the  sex worker Salima(Mumtaz Sorcar). He  follows the veiled woman  who comes to his liquor story every evening for a  pint,  refuses to  cohabit with a  shared  prostitute  with his friends as he  wants to  keep himself clean  for  the love of his life. And when  he finds  out that Salima is  a  sex worker he  quietly hands her a packet of condoms .

Is  Dhaadi for real? Probably not. But then every pursuit of  ideal love is   by its very definition an unattainable  goal.  This wonderful four-storeyed   film with  some  winsome performances  gives us  four  couples in  love  who are so  real and  so  honest in their feelings for their  loved ones that  you want to see them happy.Of course  things don’t  go the way  we hope. Love hurts.Thank God for that! Imagine if the pain and suffering of  loving someone was taken away .Where would the pangs  and  aches of C/O Kaadhal go?  

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