Kaadhal Konden stands out among recent movies that have been depressingly unoriginal and have not strayed from the
standard storyline of a boy and girl falling in love and overcoming obstacles to unite in the end. Though just the second movie for
both Dhanush and the director (their previous venture was the controversial but commercially hugely successful Thulluvadho
Ilamai), they have bravely tackled a heavy, serious subject that doesn't fit into any genre. This is the kind
of movie we expect from Kamalhassan and not from such a young team!
Vinodh(Dhanush), who has grown up under the care of a church father(Nagesh), is an introvert but a genius. He is forcibly sent to
college by the father and but is a complete misfit in class. Though shunned by the rest of his class, Divya(Sonia) becomes his friend
and he gradually warms up to her too. His feelings soon turn into love but he realises that Divya considers him as only a friend.
But he is unwilling to let her go and takes the necessary actions to make her be with him.
The movie manages to surprise us at several moments. The turns it takes at key moments are quite unpredictable and manage
to keep us guessing about the path the story is going to take. For instance, just as we are settling in for Sonia falling for the
introverted Dhanush, the story goes off in a different direction that makes up sit up and take notice. Again, when the movie
seems to be settling into another familiar story of a friend uniting lovers against the objections of their parents, it surprises us
with the direction it takes. Though the characters of some of the people involved change in an unbelievable manner, the
surprises in the story make us overlook that.
The antics of Sudip whose character oscillates between villain and comedian(before turning into what could be called a second
hero) provides nice contrast to Dhanush's quietness and provides the entertainment initially. His ferocious statements among his
friends and contradictory obsequious actions in front of Sonia are frequently funny. His change from a standard college
rowdy to college loverboy is one of the pleasant surprises in the movie. Dhanush's flashback is stark and shocking and reminds
us of Mahanadhi with respect to the atrocities perpetrated. The bad guys here earn our
revulsion within just a few scenes and have us wholeheartedly cheering when they get their comeuppance.
The climax is rightly the pinnacle of the movie. The screenplay, moving smoothly so far, moves into high gear as the movie turns
into a three way act between Dhanush, Sudip and Sonia. Dhanush's conversations with Sonia are convincing and bring out his
state of mind very well. The fight scene is picturised differently and the final scene is a fitting end.
Dhanush produces a performance that belies the fact they he is just two movies old. He is entirely believable as the quiet
youngster and earns our sympathy(and applause) when he carries on an imaginary conversation with Sonia. He gets better
as the movie progresses and comes into his own in the climax. His entreaties to Sonia, where he comes up with ways that
he can stay with her, is a wonderful scene and the fight scene, interpersed with dance steps, is done with aplomb. Sonia
looks pretty but doesn't have much more to do than serve as foil to Dhanush. Yuvan Shankar Raja's background music is
very good and Devathaiyai Kanden... is the best of the songs in the impressive soundtrack.