{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

Review Tamil

Kadaisi Vivasayi review: M Manikandan’s film about the last farmer is moving, satirical

Release Date: 11 Feb 2022 / Rated: U / 02hr 24min

Cinestaan Rating

  • Acting:
  • Direction:
  • Music:
  • Story:

Haricharan Pudipeddi

While the film is about the state of farming in India today, it is also about the inefficiency of the law and justice system and has interesting subplots about land-grabbing, loan sharks and how GM seeds are killing farming.

M Manikandan is one of the unique voices in Tamil cinema. He has proved it time and again with his films which have always gone beyond mere entertainment and touched upon interesting themes.

His latest release, Kadaisi Vivasayi (2022), which has hit the screens today after a long delay, is a moving drama about farming as a dying occupation.

Several Tamil films have been made over the years with farming as a backdrop, but they have all been unbearably preachy. Manikandan’s film, however, is moving and also infuses humour to keep the treatment mostly light-hearted, working as a satire in some parts.

The film closely follows Maayandi (Nallandi), an octogenarian farmer who lives by himself in a small village. For nearly 20 minutes, the film only focuses on Maayandi’s day-to-day activities, which he carries out with all his heart. From grazing his bulls to feeding his chickens and cooking a simple meal, he lives a life of contentment. It is with clockwork precision that Maayandi goes about his day-to-day tasks without anyone’s support.

One day, thunder strikes down an old tree in the village. The villagers see this as an omen and feel that to prevent anything bad happening, they have to offer prayers to their village deity. As the villagers get ready to organize the festival, they approach Maayandi with a request to grow grains for the special offering as he is the last farmer left in the village.

Maayandi accepts the request and starts farming. After a few days, he finds three dead peacocks in his farm. He decides to bury them in his patch of land. What happens when a policeman arrives in search of Maayandi a day later is the crux of the story.

While the film is about the state of farming in our country today, it is also about the inefficiency of our law and justice system. There are some interesting subplots as well about land-grabbing, loan sharks and how genetically modified seeds are killing farming. Instead of lecturing the viewer on these topics, Manikandan quietly shines the spotlight on them while making us empathize with his 83-year-old lead actor who is a real-life farmer.

I doubt the film would have been this impactful had it featured a professional actor as the central character. Apart from Vijay Sethupathi and Yogi Babu in cameo appearances, the film only features newcomers and they deliver performances so natural and realistic that you instantly connect and relate with the characters.

Without ever talking about farming as a noble profession and why more people should take it up, the film manages to convey its message loudly and clearly — to change our perception about farming. Kadaisi Vivasayi stands testimony to the fact that even a simple story told with sensitivity can make a lasting impact.


You might also like