Karnan: A cinematic resistance to caste system


Southern superstar Dhanush’s Tamil film ‘Karnan’ has been released on OTT platform on Amazon Prime Video. The film had earlier been released in cinemas. The film, which was screened in Corona, is getting huge response from the audience. The most interesting thing is that breaking the linguistic wall, the film is being favored from south to north. This has been a topic of discussion on social media. A Tamil film that is gaining popularity across the country shows the classic bright future of cinema.

The story of this film, if you look at it, is a single line that has been repeated thousands of times and is resistant to exploitation. But in earlier stories, the general formula of the Marxist resistance of the poor against the rich has been adopted, but there are some films in which the pain has arisen from society and its racial structure. ‘Karnan’ is a fantastic story of constant neglect, discrimination, grief, resentment and resistance presented in amazing images and symbols.

The first half of the film forms the basis of the storytelling, which consists of a very backward caste group in a village called Podiyakulam, with its own divine beliefs, lifestyle and an aggressive young Karnan (bow). The story takes a turn from the outcry over the rule that buses should not be stopped in their village as the immediate reason for the start of the film. Here is the character of the class in Indian society which is deeply rooted in the system and struggles with it. The whole village is involved in violence and incidents of violence led by Karnan.

The real protagonist of the film is director Mari Selvaraj who chose the story and presented the film in a new grammar. The first scene of the film is a heartbreaking canal maker in which a 10 year old girl is walking down the street and breath is coming out of her mouth and buses are passing by her. After her death, the girl symbolically appears in the role of the goddess ‘Kattu Pechi’. In the form of strong symbols, Selvaraj with one foot of a donkey, an elephant, an elephant, a horse present in the village, an eagle coming to kill the hens, a deity without a village head, a sacred sword and the sun in the clouds. The most influential symbol is Kattu Pechi Devi which is deeply rooted in the mind after the end of the film. The entire film has been shot in its original location, for which its art director is to be commended. The characters, dialogue and life of the film are real. The main character of this film is Karnan. This role is played by Dhanush. This is far ahead of Dhanush’s previous film ‘Asuran’. The portrayal of Dhanush in this film as an aggressive but understanding young leader will be noticed. The stardom of his film is nowhere to be seen in this film, but only Karnan is left.

‘Karnan’ is directed by Tamil director Mari Selvaraj. Along with Dhanush, the film also stars Lal Paul, Yogi Babu, Natarajan Subramaniam, Rashisha Vijayan, Gauri G Kishan and Lakshmi Priya Chandramouli. Karnan is not just a movie. This is a movement. Those who think that all human beings are born equal but is this true? At the moment, it doesn’t look like much. The caste system still exists in our society in various forms. Inequalities are in our DNA. Director Mary Selvaraj’s rage over religion and caste-based systems seems to be imprinted on every frame of the film. At the center of the story is a village where the neglected, neglected, deprived and inferior people of the society live. The biggest grief of the people there is that the bus does not stop in their village. This has hampered the development of their village. To catch the bus, they have to go to a nearby village, where they fall prey to the lust of the upper castes. Children also die due to lack of medical facilities. Not only that, in the ego of the caste, the elders of the village are tied up in the police station and beaten at night.

The people of this village accept such a life as their destiny, but a young man from the village rises up against this injustice and disorder. But is socially acceptable behavior a matter of prestige? It is common for Dalits to live on the land, endure humiliation and accept slavery. The film, which shakes the souls of the people, is a warning to all those trapped in the yoke of religion and caste. Even today, the country is boiling with discontent against the caste system. We’re sitting on that pile of gunpowder, which could explode at any moment. The story of the village shown in the film is a complete one. The bus stop is not a symbol of order.

Some people may be wondering what is the big deal about not having a bus stand near the village? A scene for such people is shown at the beginning of the film. A little girl dies of grief on the street, but family members are unable to take her to the hospital. A young girl from the village, who wants to go to college, goes with her father to another village bus stop to get there, but the powerful people cheat on her. Beat her father. Although the people of the Dalit village vandalized and protested the bus stop, the police-administration turned against them. An IPS officer goes to his village. A story of humiliation, protest, rebellion. His racial pride hurts. How does he think people of lower caste dare to raise their heads in front of him? He then attacks the villagers with his police force. He beat them. Here the protagonist quits his government job and takes up arms to save his villagers. That proud police officer kills him. He is sentenced to life in prison, but a bus stop has been set up in his village. The people of the village start living a happy life.

The strongest side of this film is the theme and the plot. The screenwriter weaves it in such a way that the audience cannot take their eyes off the screen. People connect with such topics very fast. Because it is often seen in the society around us. The actors in this film have acted very lively. Recently it seems that some Tamil films have the influence of Dalit consciousness established by Periyar in Kabaali, Kala, Asuran. The Tamil film industry is prosperous and does its business all over the world. In such a situation, big budgets, big canvases, big stars and exhibitions around the world on these topics make a huge difference. I want to see the next movie Mary Seleraj again, whether it’s a bow or not. If you are a member of Amazon Prime and are interested in good movies then you must watch this movie.

Vikas Parashram Meshram works in development sector
[email protected]

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