Paava Kadhaigal is Netflix’s entry into the Tamil scenario, with an original series that lasts for four episodes, all built on the same theme of pride and honour. The series dropped onto the platform on the 18th of December.
What is the story about?
Paava Kadhaigal consists of four independent stories directed by four filmmakers. Thangam – Sudha Kongara’s film talks about the relationship between a trans, a man and his ladylove. Next is Love Panna Utranum, a film by Vignesh Shivn which looks at two love stories of two twins, and how their father reacts differently to them. Gautham Menon’s Vaanmagal showcases the story of how a family deals with an unexpected event that turns their life upside down. The final of the four is Vetrimaaran’s Oor Iravu, which hands out the story of a hurt father who is led back to his once-eloped daughter.
Whichever episode you pick to watch first, Netflix and Paava Kadhaigal have content in them to impress you. The four stories by four unique filmmakers have been handpicked in such a way that they have a different set of emotions in each of them, and still stand strong in competition when compared to one another. However, Vetrimaaran’s short does take the cake amidst the four, as the filmmaker once again spins together an intense, shocking and chilling tale that throws many surprises at you. Vetrimaaran’s writing is so tight that he doesn’t need all the 37 minutes to build the tempo, and keeps you invested right from the first frame. It is easily one of the best works in the shorter segment on the world class level, and should go places hereon and instill more hope in the filmmaker’s upcoming works. A close second is Gautham Menon’s Vaanmagal, which pulls in a devastating and uncomfortable story and winds around a lot of thrill elements into it. Gautham takes a break from his ultra-classy city image and moves to the countryside here with a good ensemble cast, but it is Simran who simply steals the show with her magnificent act. The story does have a few bumps, but still classifies itself as a quality piece of work. Sudha Kongara’s Thangam is another kickass presentation, as the director manages to dwell into a small locality and pull out strong emotions, whilst also deriving excellent performances from her cast. The film has an excellent climax sequence that has been carried out with a convincing answer and a huge group of artists. Vignesh Shivn’s short is no less either, for it may seem a little light-hearted and chilled out when compared to the rest, but kudos to the filmmaker for breaking many shackles and not opting to go the usual way. There’s a lot of spright in the way he puts across his storyline, and that needs to be lauded. At the back end of the year, Netflix has delivered what is probably the best content that one can watch on an OTT platform in the Tamil scene. It’s such a huge gift that all the four stories have worked well in unison, a rarity when it comes to anthologies.
Vetrimaaran’s short takes the first place here as well, as both Sai Pallavi and Prakash Raj rule the roost for the entirety of the runtime. Gautham Menon’s Vaanmagal has Simran at her best, as a rough and troubled mother who just cannot come to terms with what has happened to her daughter. It brings back the bold Simran who was at her prime in the angry scene from Ezhumalai. On the other hand, the trio of Shanthnu, Kaalidas Jayaram and Bhavani Sre are all very good in Thangam, with a special mention to Kaalidas who is a fantastic performer in these shoes. Vignesh Shivn’s short lacks special performances, but there’s enough in it to keep the van moving.
Music & Other Departments
All the five composers in Paava Kadhaigal have done a superb job, complementing the film’s needs respectively. Including the title track, there’s nothing much to complain about in the songs and the score. Anirudh’s background cues in Vignesh Shivn’s segment and Justin Prabhakaran’s ‘Thangame’ track are unmissable stuff. The films also have a glossy cover and spectacular cinematography, which aids them in becoming visually appealing as well.
This is one of the rare occurrences where all the four parts of a series work well.
In Sudha Kongara and Vignesh Shivn’s portions, there are some dull moments here and there. The films are also emotionally heavy, and some may need a trigger warning before starting it.
Did I enjoy it?
I thoroughly did. This is the best Tamil web series to date, and I am stoked for a second season.
Do I recommend it?
Paava Kadhaigal is a must watch on all levels, Netflix brings out a gem that will be celebrated worldwide.