It is the season of Love, with Valentine's Day just around the corner! Cashing in on this, the makers of C/o Kaadhal, have released the movie right over the Valentine's Day weekend! This movie is about 4 different love stories in various age groups, ranging from the puppy love of school children to a couple just out of adolescence to an adult love to the warm love that can crop up in middle age! A faithful remake of the super hit 2018 Telugu movie C/o Kancharapalem, this Tamil version is directed by Hemambar Jasthi, borrowing the story from the director of the original, who also penned the script - Venkatesh Maha! Those who have watched the original Telugu movie, can skip the next paragraph containing the synopsis and move on directly to the one after it!
The movie opens to Palani (Deepan, who is making a comeback after 36 years since Muthal Mariyathai), going about his work as a Peon in a government office. Palani hails from the locality of Meenakshipuram in Madurai and is a 49-year-old bachelor. The constant question on the mouths of every single person in Meenakshipuram is when Palani would get married. A 42-year-old Malayali widowed officer - Radha (Sonia Giri), gets transferred to Palani's office and cultivates a good friendship with him. Velu (Nishesh), the son of a reputed but poor statue maker in the village, is an 8th standard government school student, who develops a crush on his classmate Sunitha (Shwetha). After being too shy to even talk to her, he motivates her to sing and develops a good friendship with her.
College student Bhargavi (Ayra) is from an orthodox brahmin family, who is very bold and straightforward. She takes on Joseph (Karthik Rathnam) and his friends for beating up a man. Eventually, Bhargavi herself ends up owing gratitude to Joseph and the two eventually embark on a romantic relationship. Dhaadi (Vetri of 8 Thottakkal fame) is a wine shop employee, who falls for a regular customer seeing only her eyes and not having even seen her face fully! He eventually comes to know that she is Saleema (Mumtaz Sorcar of Irudhi Suttru fame), a local call girl. Even after knowing her profession, Dhaadi continues to love her. These 4 different love stories travel in different directions but have one common thread!
Not all of these love stories would end well. What happens to each of them? What is the common thread among all these stories, apart from love? Watch C/o Kaadhal for the answers...
The director - Hemambar Jasthi, who has earlier worked with ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam, has been extremely faithful to the original and almost gone in for a frame-to-frame remake. The very fact that love can strike at any age and the things it makes people do has been beautifully brought out in this movie. The rustic setting of the stories and the way they unfold, tug at the heartstrings and are relatable to everybody at some point or the other! The casting is near perfect and the subtlety of the actors, boosts the presence of the characters and the importance of the story gets highlighted!
Neelan K Shekar's dialogues also seem to have remained true to the original movie. DOP Gunasekaran has done a wonderful job of showcasing the localities in their raw sense. Editor Sreekar Prasad's cuts are a true asset to this movie, especially the way they keep the narrative moving. The intercuts between the stories don't seem jarring and are very natural. Some scenes have been conceived very naturally and the scene where Dhaadi proposes his love for Saleema, is a show stealer. The actor who has played Rasaiyya, Velu's father, has done an amazing job! Every single actor has done a very commendable job and special mentions need to go to Ayra, Mumtaz Sorcar and Vetri. The veteran Deepan and Sonia Giri are extremely natural and believable.
Some of the things that feel against the grain are the inconsistency in the language used, especially the Brahmin slang, which seems a bit odd. The overstressing of the caste divide seems a tad contrived. The inconsistency in the atmospheric settings does seem unsettling but this question goes for a complete toss in the climax! Any and all misgivings are blown away at the climax! The writing shines through and Venkatesh Maha has to be credited for penning this beautiful story.
Verdict: A beautiful tale of different loves with a simple connection, that tugs at the heartstrings!