Thaen Movie Review: An ineffective tear-jerker based on true events- Cinema express

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Velan , an orphan to the hills as a child, is an expert at gathering honey which is supposed to heal diseases. We are shown a shot of Velan pressing out honey from a comb, balancing on a branch, high up on the hill, with a waterfall as backdrop. These early parts of the film are filled with similar aerial shots of the hill and its hamlets. Even if the hill is not filled with magical herbs, you want it to be preserved. It makes a forceful argument for the preservation of our hills, but it’s missing nuance and depth.

In the dead of night, we see a fancy car cruising on the well-paved road that cuts through a forest. And we see the car come to a sudden halt to avoid running over a rabbit, which is in the middle of the road searching for food. The driver beams the headlight on the rabbit repeatedly so it moves aside, clearing the way for the vehicle. Nonetheless, Ganesh’s approach to making the film easy for the public to understand without any space for ambiguity doesn’t undermine the significance of what this film wants to tell. Especially India’s staggering digital divide and how it keeps a massive population of the country from accessing vital and urgent resources of the government.

It traces the journey of a young, rural and uneducated beekeeper who battles insurmountable challenges to save his wife from a rare disease. Directed by Ganesh Vinayakan and produced by Ambalavanan.B, Prema.P & AP Productions, Thaen has been widely showcased at film festivals and has scored over 40 nominations. The movie was one of the two Tamil films which were selected at the Indian Panorama 2020. Thaen is also feted at the 11th Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival, Delhi NCR, India, Cult Critic Movie Awards 2020, New Delhi Film Festival, Ayodhya Film Festival, Ayodhya 2020 amongst others. The helplessness of innocent human beings is well captured.

And the circus repeats all over again until the next day, we find a new topic to express outrage. The tribe is safe and independent when it is away from the materialistic society. The people in the village are blessed with pure air and clean water.

Government officers ask the people on the hill to migrate to towns nearby. Velu is a young man who lives in a village in the region and makes his living by beekeeping. He is a specialist in his profession and that is why people seek his aid when they are in need of a specific type of honey used for medical purposes. Velu sometimes does not even charge people for the honey considering the buyers financial struggle.

Lawrence Kishore edits the film, and not one scene hangs loose or out stays its welcome. With a longer runtime, the film may have actually felt too manipulative. The dubbing goes for a toss in many scenes and the film’s visual quality is not consistent.

Velu is also someone who provides honey-based home medicines to those in need. On the whole, ‘Thaen’ deserves a special mention for giving best visuals amalgamated with emotional drama and an issues of contemporary times. More than all, it’s stellar performances that keeps the show going engagingly. The film gives more like revisiting the beautiful lands of Merku Thodarchi Malai, Thenmerku Paruva Kaatru, Kumki and few more of this genre. Thaen is yet another embellishment that comes with a mix of beautiful nature, lovely emotions and of course, seasoned with melancholies. Thaen is a very hard hitting tale of a helpless, innocent and uneducated couple who struggle to survive through the difficult situations that life puts them through.

We didn’t need more tears and manipulative displays of hopelessness. We needed to see who Velan and Poonkodi were as people, not as just representations for the problems that plague Kurinji Malai. The casting is one of the biggest strengths of the entertainer musesonly review and director Ganesh Vinayakan has made his artists strive hard. Actor Tharun Kumar has delivered a moving performance as an illiterate man fighting the system to save his wife. Comedian Bava Lakshmanan offers the much necessary relief with his satire.

We see Tharun’s Velu breaking down and Abarnadhi’s Poonkodi squirming in pain during several scenes, but their pain hardly touches us. At times we feel we don’t know the characters enough to mourn with them, and other times, we are just perplexed by how everyone they cross paths with is invariably evil. Thaen opens with a greenish scenic location in Kurinji hill where people do not even have basic facilities and have to travel miles for everything.

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