Paava Kadhaigal forged: Kalidas Jayaram, Shanthnu Bhagyaraj, Bhavani Sre, Gautham Menon, Simran, Anjali, Kalki Koechlin, Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi, Jaffer Sadiq
Paava Kadhaigal administrators: Sudha Kongara, Gautham Menon, Vignesh Shivan, Vetrimaaran
Paava Kadhaigal score: Two and a half stars
A lady’s physique has lengthy been the positioning of ‘honour’— her personal, her household’s, and fairly often, the group’s. This theme is explored in several methods by the four-part Netflix anthology Paava Kadhaigal, however each comes all the way down to the everlasting questions of identification and self-hood, by which honour and disgrace, sin and betrayal, are entwined.
Set in an earlier period, the primary section is a couple of younger man who has all the time identified he’s completely different, and who has learnt to stay with it. Hiding isn’t an possibility, so he flaunts it. He chews betel leaf to color his lips purple, is coy with a greatest male pal, and is the thing of derision of the folks in his village. When the pal professes love for an additional, he has to decide on between him, and a dream he has lived with for a very long time. Or is it actually a alternative? Does a ‘man’ like him, rebuffed by household, ever have a alternative? Kongara’s quick is pitched excessive, however can also be a vivid portrayal of distinction, of maximum intolerance of that distinction, and its tragic end result.
Distinction, pushed by caste and sophistication, crops up in Kalki Koechlin-Anjali’s story. A pair of dual sisters in love with folks their heavy-handed father wouldn’t approve of, are up in opposition to a wall: how do they escape the net of hazard that’s been woven for them? A lesbian angle, clunkily thrown in, is a technique out for one sister; the opposite has a darker destiny in retailer. The third section, directed by Menon, additionally options him as a father of two women, struggling in opposition to vicious gossip surrounding the youthful one. The mom, performed by Simran, is distraught, realizing full properly what it’s to stay with the everlasting ‘shame’ of rape, the perpetrator getting away with it, and the sufferer being blamed.
Vetrimaaran’s section, the ultimate one, encompasses a pregnant younger girl being invited again to the bosom of her estranged household for a child bathe. Prakash Raj and Sai Pallavi, as father and daughter, bob and weave round one another, the previous in a dour, all-is-forgiven mode, the opposite delighted to be welcomed again. However in fact, nothing is because it appears, and we’re confronted with the ugly face of bigotry and classism.
Watching this, you are feeling a mixture of feelings. On prime is the sinking feeling which accompanies violence in opposition to girls, whether or not it’s tacit or in your face. There’s additionally a form of weariness. How lengthy will this brutal entitlement to girls’s our bodies and minds go on, in life and on display screen? A number of the violence on show, stretched too far, is tough to look at. Redemption does are available in two of the 4 segments, however at the price of subtlety. Just a few refined grace notes might have been simpler, total.