Kanaa movie review: Aishwarya Rajesh hits a six but loses the match
Kanaa movie review: This Aishwarya Rajesh film is about a girl who dreams of making her father smile. She decides that the best way to do it is to play her father’s favourite sport, cricket, and win.
Director: Arunraja Kamaraj
Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Sathyaraj, Sivakarthikeyan
To dream is to believe that you can reach for the stars. Kanaa, starring Aishwarya Rajesh, is the story of a girl whose one wish in life is to make her father smile. It is for this reason that she chooses to play her father’s favourite sport - cricket - and win. The road ahead, however, is anything but rosy -- she is the daughter of a farmer who belongs to a village where people have fallen on hard times.
Like many other sports dramas, Kanaa depends on its lead actor Aishwarya Rajesh and melodrama. Director-writer Arunraja Kamaraj uses the generic buildup one sees in such a film - a protagonist who is passionate about the sport, shows the hurdles in her way and how she has to struggle to achieve her goal. There is a motivational song bunged in for good measure. However, all of it feels forced and predictable.
What does work for the film is Aishwarya. She plays the role of Kousalya effortlessly. The actor trained as a bowler ahead of the film and it is obvious in the second half of Kanaa where the game takes the centrestage. Aishwarya is superlative in her face-off with her mother too. She is allowed to play cricket with the boys till she hits puberty. When her mother learns that her grown-up daughter is playing with men - one of them being Kousalya’s brother - she doesn’t hold back her anger. She goes to the ground with a broomstick and hits her daughter. The conviction in Kousalya’s face as she holds in her tears and the rage that she shows at home is perhaps one of the best sequences of the film.
Another interesting facet of the film was when the writer drew comparison between the daughter and the father. She as a cricketer and he as a farmer have faced prejudice, but chose to rise above the hatred. Actor Sathyaraj plays the ever supportive father who is forced to live on the streets due to mounting debts but his pride is evident when he sees his daughter pad up.
A cameo by Sivakarthikeyan gives the film a much needed boost. At a crucial point before an international match, Kousalya falters and wonders why she should play. Siva as Coach Nelson convinces her, first by explaining calmly but when Kousalya is unconvinced, his voice lashes out like a whip.
If this punch had been present throughout the film, Kanaa would have been a nail-biting match to the end. What we get instead is a melodramatic film that tries to do everything and fails to do anything at all.