Kevin in a still from ‘DaDa’ Photo credit: Special Arrangements
Regardless of gender, it’s normal for most people to at least once wonder what they’d be like if they accidentally became a single parent. Think along the lines of a relationship that grows and breaks, a person has to raise a child on their own, and that opens the door to a wide range of stories for the screen. I grandfatherfor the first time Ganesh K Babu writes a solid story with him and despite the conventional treatment of the screenplay the film is impressive.
We open to a long shot of Manikandan (Kevin) waking up to find his college sweetheart Sindhu (Aparna Das) resting on his shoulder, shedding tears of joy. There is a deep closeness between them. As he wonders the reason behind those happy tears, we along with Sindhu realize that Mani has never cried. “I didn’t even cry when I was a kid and it’s not like I didn’t try. I just couldn’t,” he explains. Sindhu leans forward and kisses him on the cheek. From the camera angle to the kiss and everything we know about the characters here, many details of this simple introductory scene are reflected in key moments later. One of the many hallmarks of a good screenplay is this – it knows what it sets out to do and it effectively sets up some convincing high points for payoff.
And as one realizes later, the above is also the only scene in the film that aims to establish a relationship between the two as director Ganesh is not interested in the traditional ‘boy meets girl’ narrative and They run around the trees. The girl accidentally becomes pregnant and decides not to abort the baby. Unexpectedly forced to take on the responsibilities of adulthood, Mani struggles to find a grip on reality, turns to alcohol, and breaks up with Sindhu. After many misfortunes, the child is born but Sindhu apparently abandons both her partner and her child. Mani now has to face the harsh realities of being a single father.
Director: Ganesh’s Babu
The cast: Kevin, Aparna Das, Harish K, K Bhagiraj, Aishwarya Baskaran
Run time: 135 minutes
The story line: After his live-in partner gives birth and disappears, a young man is forced to accept the harsh realities of being a single father.
The first thing one starts to notice. grandfather It has colorful frames that are mostly close-ups. However, the visual language in most of the scenes in the first half is inconsistent. Some shots are impressive—like the composition of a shot where a drunk Mani, overcome with guilt and shame, looks down at Sindhu as she walks through the door—but then, there are also some handheld close-ups that look too amateurish. .
The writing, on the other hand, only gets stronger. There are some truly delightful, heart-melting touches in the second act. For example, in the days following the birth of the child and Sindhu’s disappearance, the focus is on how Mani is dealing with this sudden turn of events and it is only when a stranger visits Mani. Talked to and asked about whether we get the details. The baby’s biological sex and name (they name her Aadhithya, as Sindhu and Mani had previously agreed). In any normal case, these details would have been preferable. Here, both the audience and Mani are following the sudden tumultuous events that unfold over two days, and such details seem to either pass unnoticed or get lost in the overwhelming nature of the situation. .
grandfather Comes into its own in this second act as a feel-good drama about a father and son with plenty of comedy (Harish’s character Amit and VTV Ganesh’s cameo bring much-needed levity). However, just as we settle in and start expecting more from this emotional father-son story, the film starts to travel into some tried and tested territory. It’s no surprise to anyone that Sindhu will be making a comeback in the film – the very set-up of the character was such that it was obvious. But, unfortunately, Aadhithya has been nowhere to be seen for quite some time now and it is very easy to predict what will happen next. A key scene involving K Bhagyaraj and Aishwarya Bhaskaran (who plays Mani’s parents) proves essential but also feels forced into the proceedings.
What saves the film during these minor parts are the performances of Kevin and Aparna Das. Kevin, in fact, gets more opportunities than Aparna to show off his various skills, and is most impressive when he shows vulnerability. Notice this sequence set around the orphanage—the background score aside, Kevin moves from low to high in one linear stroke with great ease and conviction.
Kevin and Aparna Das in a still from ‘DaDa’ Photo credit: Special Arrangements
It’s safe to say that Kevin is a promising star in the making, and a role like Manikandan is what he needs. Yes, like a traditional commercial cinema hero, he dances drunk in a soup song and also becomes a savior for many characters. He also gets an innocuous callback to his breakout hit. The elevator. But none of them turned out to be a disturbance. They also don’t disturb the tone as most of them get a comedic twist somewhere and that goes well with the film’s treatment of comedy and drama. Importantly, Kevin’s Manikandan is a very flawed character who does and says some unforgivable things and has to face the consequences of his mistakes.
In more than a few places, Jean Martin’s performances and music leave tears in your eyes. Most of the emotional beats land well, and if for something more novel about how the story progresses, grandfather It may have been overdone, but it’s still an effort that’s definitely worth a look.
Dada is currently playing in theaters.