Kadamban review: Arya's film has its heart in the right place

Release Date: 14 Apr 2017

Cinestaan Rating

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

Manigandan KR

Tighter editing would have made this film about a tribal village taking on the might of a greedy corporation much more gripping.

Director N Ragavan's Kadamban is an interesting action thriller that seeks to highlight the problem of corporations looking to exploit the country's natural resources for their own gains.

The film is set in a tribal hamlet deep in the Western Ghats. Kadamban (Arya), son of the headman Moopan (Super Subbarayan), is someone who has gained mastery over all the traditional skills that have been passed down through the generations. His agility, skill and strength do not go unnoticed and earn him the respect of the villagers.

The tribals live in harmony with nature. The forest provides them all that they need to live and they in turn nurture the forest and protect the animals in it. Life is by and large peaceful. Except for the occasional run-ins the villagers have with some corrupt forest officers who are in cahoots with poachers, the villagers have nothing much to worry about.

All that changes when a corporation owned by two ruthless brothers learns that mines in that part of the forest can take care of the raw material needs of its factories for the next 50 years. The company's researchers suggest that the mineral wealth in and around the village is first rate and mining there would help profits soar.

The brothers waste no time and look at ways to get the tribals to vacate the village. They try to lure them away from the forest by promising them free homes, education for their children, and  jobs. When the tribals refuse to fall for the bait, the brothers resort to more devious methods. But then Kadamban and his villagers will not let the brothers have their way.

Director Ragavan needs to be congratulated for looking to tell a story that showcases the bond tribals share with forests and animals and the efforts they take to keep those with vested interests from exploiting the country's natural resources. He also wins points for an authentic replication of the lifestyle of the tribals living in these parts.

Arya as Kadamban does a decent job. Though he sports a toned body, it takes a while for one to be convinced that Arya is a tribal as close-ups of him running and jumping show he is uncomfortable doing these activities barefoot. Nevertheless, Arya has put in a considerable amount of effort to look the part and it pays off.

Catherine Tresa as Radhi pining for Kadamban's love is just perfect. Cute for most of the film, Catherine just waltzes through her part and manages to make an impression from the start.

Murugadoss, YG Mahendran, Madhuvanthi Arun, Super Subbarayan, Deepraj Rana and Raja Simman all play their parts well. Yuvan Shankar Raja's music is a plus. SR Sathish Kumar's cinematography is brilliant occasionally and good in other parts. One sequence that has been outstandingly shot is when Arya jumps off a cliff to collect honey.

Dev's editing could have been tighter as one occasionally gets the impression that the film is a bit long. Otherwise, Kadamban definitely makes a mark.