When you hear of a Tamil movie with a title like ‘Kalyana Samayal Saadham’ two things come to your mind immediately- any typical wedding feast with its variety of delicacies and the famous song from the Telugu-Tamil bilingual film, Mayabazaar (1957). Hence the typical expectation is that the movie is likely to be a rom-com with the emphasis on a big fat Indian wedding. So with Prasanna R.S announcing his debut feature film with the same title the expectations were on similar lines. Produced by Arun Vaidyanathan, director of the thriller Achchamundu Achchamundu (2009) and Ananth Govindan, Kalyana Samayal Saadham (KSS from hereon) caught the fancy of the target audience with a refreshing lead pair of Prasanna (the actor & not to be confused with the director of the film Prasanna R.S) and Lekha Washington. The first look poster, the music video of the song “Mella Sirithai” and of course the trailer all promised a good treat to the audience.
Though the film originally was a planned for a release much before Diwali it got delayed for certain reasons. But that seems to have done some good as the film has now managed to get distributed by Abi Pictures and C.V.Kumar‘s Thirukumaran Entertainment, hence ensuring a good release. KSS continues the trend of urban centric films catering to the slightly classy audience for whom traditionally such outings have been limited to the occasional new age Bollywood film or International films. But with an ever growing market for such films among the Tamil audience and with a more than certain need to tackle topics like the one addressed here, it is good to have such films coming out more regularly these days.
Raghu Viswanathan (Prasanna) and Meera Chandrasekaran (Lekha Washington) are both techies who are doing well professionally and hailing from like-minded TamBrahm (Tamil Brahmin for the uninitiated 🙂 ) families. Busy with their careers they allow their parents to find their prospective life partner and thus they first get to know each other and their families through a matrimonial website. Within no time their wedding gets fixed and with the D-Day being 8 months away both Raghu and Meera try to get friendly with each other and understand the other person better. Slowly but surely things seem to be falling in place as they genuinely get friendly and start liking each other.
With a month to go for the wedding, they decide to get intimate on one occasion and that’s when disaster strikes with Raghu not able to “get it up”. Raghu goes into a tizzy and though Meera supports him all the way, he is confused about the next course of action. To top it at all he has to contend with his friends, all of them suggesting multiple solutions on one hand and with both the families going ahead with the wedding preparations on the other hand. How does Raghu handle the situation and does he manage to have a smooth wedding with Meera is what the rest of the film is all about.
To highlight upon topics like impotency/erectile dysfunction is by itself no mean task. And the filmmaker has the added responsibility of ensuring that the narration doesn’t get too serious, doesn’t make fun of the topic and yet ensure that the proceedings remain entertaining. Keeping these points in mind it is reassuring to see that Prasanna R.S has managed to walk the tight rope fairly well. This by itself ensures a moral victory of sorts for the film. The film in a way falls under the Vicky Donor zone thanks to the topic and the manner in which it has been handled. We see the contrast between the traditional thought process and the new generation during the entire duration of the story. There is the relative for example who suggests that the wedding shouldn’t happen in an air-conditioned hall in Chennai but instead in the family temple, back in the village. The parents of both Raghu and Meera are by themselves progressive and yet caught in a time wrap in a sweet sort of way.
Arrora’s music is of the pleasant variety which works very well for a film like KSS. ‘Mella Sirithai’ (sung by Haricharan and Chinmayi, lyrics by Sakthi & Muthamizh) is the pick of the lot while ‘Pallu Pona Raja’ (sung by Prasanna and Sangeetha Rajeshwaran, lyrics by Srikanth) describes the chaos going on in Raghu’s life. A big round of applause for the presentation of ‘Mella Siruthai’ song, the way of showing moments in the tale of Raghu and Meera as seen through social media platforms is quite innovative. Krishnan Vasant’s cinematography brings alive the freshness that’s visible clearly in all the frames. In particular I liked the shot where Prasanna and Lekha are on the boat in the dark, with just some lanterns lighting up the way.
With a story that is revolving around a big TamBrahm wedding it is but natural to see a whole host of characters present in the film. What’s good is that one gets to see a lot of known faces from theatre and T.V being part of the proceedings. It’s a welcome change to see someone like veteran actor Kathadi Ramamurthy back in action as Raghu’s grandfather. Though there are multiple characters in the film enough care has been taken to ensure that the focus more or less remains on Raghu and Meera throughout the movie. Delhi Ganesh and Uma Padmanabhan are a delight to watch as the parents of Meera and the scene in the coffee shop where Delhi Ganesh surprises Prasanna by offering to help him solve his problem comes across as so natural. Raaghav as the U.S based friend of Raghu who plays a crucial role towards the end of the film also gets noticed.
Lekha Washington is the perfect choice for the character of Meera as she has that rare ability of being able to look elegant yet casual, a trait that helps in case of Meera. It’s a pity that she’s not seen more often in Tamil Cinema, considering that she started off quite a long time ago. Hopefully KSS will make people notice her all over again. Prasanna again is a slightly underrated actor who usually does give his best to the films he does. Here again he’s shown his eagerness to try something different in case of both the space that KSS is into and Raghu’s character as well. Lekha and Prasanna share a good chemistry and the portions during the wedding bring out the best in them.
Overall KSS is a smart movie that has something in it for the whole family. It also addresses a very important topic and highlights the fact that despite our modern outlook we still fumble when it comes to handling a problem like the one that Raghu faces in the film. For all this and more it’s good to note that Prasanna R.S has emerged victorious with his debut film. Go watch this film folks, hopefully you’ll enjoy the marriage feast in the process.