The trailer for Netflix’s new regional offering Paava Kadhaigal came out recently. A Tamil anthology comprising of four films directed by Vetri Maaran, Sudha Kongara Prasad, Vignesh Shivan, and Gautham Menon, Paava Kadhaigal features names like Anjali, Kalki Koechlin, Sai Pallavi, Prakash Raj, Gautham Menon, Kalidas Jayaram, Shathanu Bhagyaraj, and Bhavani Sre. Come December 18, each narrative promises to explore how emotions like love, pride and honour link with pertinent social norms to ultimately influence intricate personal relationships.
Exploring Paava Kadhaigal’s Four Tales
The trailer starts on a seemingly positive note with four different narratives. The first one shows a father reconciling with his now pregnant daughter, after breaking all ties with her due to an unapproved marriage. Audiences are introduced to a little girl who idolises Kalpana Chawla and dreams of ‘flying’ in the second narrative. The third one shows a young woman sharing her excitement at her father’s approval for her marriage with her female ‘friend’. Lastly, the trailer introduces one to a boy called Sathaar, clearly struggling for his place in normative society.
The trailer then goes on to reveal the “gut-wrenching” truth behind these four narratives. The pregnant daughter is seen to be in a desperate state, ostensibly because of her father. A woman who seems to be Sathaar’s mother, appalled by his real identity, prods him to die for the sake of his sisters’ marriages. The two ‘friends’ are revealed to be same-sex lovers left at the mercy of a disapproving society. However, the trailer deals its biggest blow when the little girl is pushed off a cliff at the very end of the trailer.
Driving The Message Home
The trailer gives viewers an adequate glimpse into each of the four narratives while reserving the finer details for the film. It doesn’t shy away from showing dark societal truths in all their goriness to drive the message home and pique interest. Devoid of fanfare, unnecessary song-dance sequences, and dressy outfits, Paava Kadhaigal’s trailer situates the upcoming film firmly in its context – a seemingly simple story of seemingly simple people that has more to it than meets the eye. The female performers – Kalki Koechlin, Sai Pallavi, and Anjali – deserve a special shout out for their realistic yet powerful acting in the trailer. Kalidas Jayaram, too, is utterly believable as Saathar. However, the trailer’s most memorable aspect is the harsh truth uttered at the end: “A family’s honour, its pride, and prestige are borne by the women at home. We can never unburden ourselves, till the end of life.”
The four stories are linked together with one jolting truth: “caste, creed, and community” reign supreme over human, familial emotions and lead to sins and crime. The trailer can be said to be a roller coaster of emotions that provides an unforgiving mirror to today's Indian society and raises all the right questions. What remains to be seen is how the film further explores how an abstract concept like honour is defined by society and caste, as well as the gruesome implications of the same.
Watch the trailer here:
Picture Credits: Netflix
Tarini Gandhiok is an intern with SheThePeople.TV