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Not A Classic: Kanchivaram
Cast: Prakash Raj, Shreya Reddy, Shammu
Priyadarshan, known for his commercial comedy, has come out with a meaningful attempt with Kanchivaram, where he has portrayed the plight of the weavers.
Kanchivaram tells the story of a weaver, lived in Kanchivaram during the 1930s. The miserable life of the weaving community is depicted through the life of Vengadam (Prakash Raj), a talented weaver. The man makes a promise to get a silk sari for the marriage of his daughter. Since his earnings do not allow him to fulfill his promise he resorts to stealing silk threads.
The rest of the movie deals with how he suffers by the turn of events and in the process Priyan tries to portray the exploitation of the weavers by the landlords and the emergence of the communist party.
Priyadarshan has handled some sequences exceptionally well. The scene where Vengadam shows his dyeing wife the silk sari is the pick of the lot. The way the economic and social restraints the weavers are destined to experience has been well portrayed.
The film has some realistic cinematography by Thiru and sensitive dialogues. But it fails to rise above a level, as it depends too much on the melodramatic story about the protagonist. The audience is not able to identify with Vengadam, as his problems stem from his peculiar promise and his unlawful ways to achieve it. This makes the proceedings weak when he turns a communist and fights for justice.
Performance wise, this is easily among the best by Prakash Raj. He has depicted the innocence, ambitions, love, disappointments, and the negative shades of the weaver well. However, one could not forget the usual Prakash Raj, as the man overshadows the character in many places.
Shreya Reddy has transformed herself as the wife of a poor weaver. Her facial expressions, particularly her expressive eyes, do what is required from her. Newcomer Shammu has rendered credible performance.
Priyadarshan has made an efforts to make meaningful cinema through Kanchivaram. If only he had avoided melodrama and added more shades to deal with the subject, Kanchivaram would have ended up a classic.
— Courtesy Chennai Online.