Stories of Love with a flavor of Pride, Honor, and Sin!
Who dares to have a title like “Paava Kadhaigal?” that literally means “Stories of Sin”. As they say, the world belongs to those who dare here comes four hard-hitting and intense stories from the four very talented directors of Indian Cinema – Sudha Kongara, Vignesh Shivan. Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vetrimaaran.
As you start watching this limited anthology Netflix original movie, please do not skip the title/intro part. A special mention here because we tend to fast forward the introduction as we are eager to get into the content and, with the “Skip Intro” button on OTT platforms, that is even easier. The Title song is brilliant as it shows the correlation of the color “red” and phases of life. Please don’t skip it.
The first story is “Thangam” directed by Sudha Kongara. The story of a struggle for a life of dignity that Sathaar gets denied because of gender is heart-wrenching. Kalidas Jayaram has portrayed the character brilliantly and, every time he says “Thangam….”, that moves you into tears.
The second is “Love Panna Uttranum” from Vignesh Shivan and is a slight relief from the intensity you would get immersed. The story of a father who is also a village head talking and working for “Equality” but committing honor killings of those marrying inter-caste people in silos. What happens to that father if his daughter loves someone from a different caste? What happens if he has to come across the same situation twice? What influences a person to become something that is not him? Watch this story as it unfolds. Brilliantly performed by Anjali, this story ends with a beautiful rap “Love Panna uttranum….”
Next comes from Gautham Menon, a story of male chauvinism, dominance, and girl abuse – “Vaanmagal”. The story of a cute family impacted by an unforeseen, unimaginable incident that changes their lives in a night. How does each person in the family tackle that? Would “Pride & Honor” come first to “Life”? All these questions haunt you and make you think. Also, a zillion silent questions like “why are women made responsible in keeping up the honor of a family? How is a woman’s body related to keeping up that honor? Why should victims suffer? What are the so-called “pride, honor, purity ………” compared to “LIFE”? Watch “Vaanmagal”. Simran excels as she plays the role of a mother and her agony makes you think, think and think again. Gautham Menon is slowly but surely becoming a refined actor.
The last story is from Vetrimaaran, “Oor Iravu” starring Sai Pallavi and Prakash Raj as the leads playing father and daughter. The story of fatherly love getting influenced due to societal pressures of pride, sin, and honor. What extent would that father go to to make his life answerable in his village circle as he thinks it is hampered by his daughter who marries a person from a different caste? Needless to say, Sai Pallavi lived the role and there’s no need to specifically mention about Prakash Raj’s performance. He’s a proven actor and a national award winner. Oor Iravu leaves you in a trans, in a deep thought, and a zillion more questions that you ask yourself.
To the question that many are asking, “Do we need more like Paava Kadhaigal?” My answer is “hell, yes!” and I say so because I’ve the below questions haunting me.
Why do we discriminate against fellow human beings for things we can’t own, take pride in, or earned? – Caste, Religion, Gender, Pride, Honour….Why are we not yet free to love, love someone as our will goes, unconditionally?, why do we entertain societal pressures to decide a life? Why do some of us justify these so-called Honour killings? Will love ever ask for sacrifice?…………Are we still primitive?
And, please let’s not act surprised asking questions like, “are these things still happening? Do people like this exist? Just google or refer to the newspapers and, you will get the answer you would not want to trust.
How long do we have to keep hearing such things happening? As long as we don’t start mending ourselves, our family, our friends, our relatives……..After all, society is not anything that descends from the sky. People like you and me form society.
Can we ever give the generation of tomorrow a society of equality? If we want to, then we need to take up the fight today. Stand up, speak out and live a life of equality.
Cheers to all such fighters. You all are silent heroes. Keep it going!