Kavan movie cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Madonna Sebastian, T Rajender, Akashdeep Saigal
Kavan movie director: KV Anand
Kavan movie rating: 3
Kavan is the second instalment in director KV Anand’s journalism series. With actor Vijay Sethupathi and Madonna Sebastian, the director has delivered an engaging film based on the TRP-driven media practices. Unlike his 2001 film KO, Anand doesn’t make this film a fight of good media against the corrupt system. Instead, it is a fight between independent journalism and corporate journalism. The first half of the film rides on the making of TRP-driven shows, how facts are bent and altered by a section of media to cater to a few individuals and the circus that unfolds behind the screens while making television reality shows.
Thilak (Vijay Sethupathi), an unsuccessful documentary filmmaker, lands a job at a cash-rich television channel, Zen TV, run by the corrupt media mogul, played by actor Akashdeep Saigal. He also runs into his ex-girlfriend Anjali (Madonna Sebastian), who is also employed at the company. Everything seems to be falling in place for Thilak but he is gradually forced to make some serious ethical compromises to keep his job. Being an idealist, he finds it difficult to play the ball of the corporate-driven journalism. Eventually, a rebel faction of Zen TV, led by Thilak, goes against the will of their boss and get blacklisted from the media.
The team finally finds a ray of hope in a failing channel, run by Mayilvaaganam (T Rajender). Thilak and team join forces with Mayilvaaganam and use his channel to bring down a powerful, influential and a corrupt media organisation.
While many sequences in the film ring a bell, director Anand has also takes cinematic liberties to show media indulging in corrupt practices and how can it manufacture news and thus influence public perception of anything under the sun.
While Vijay Sethupathi is very unconvincing as a media student, he beats everyone with his natural performance as an ideal journalist. Madonna is very convincing as a student and television producer, torn between right and wrong. T Rajender has let his hair down, like always, while delivering gabs in his trademark style and it is fun to watch him onscreen. Pandiarajan plays the role of a good but prudent news editor, who in the beginning shows no qualms in following questionable media practices. Bose Venkat as a corrupt politician has delivered a surprising performance. The rest of the cast, including Vikranth and Jagan, have played their parts to best of their abilities and have managed to contribute to the progress of the film. A special shout-out to a good script penned by Subha, Kabilan Vairamuthu along with Anand.
The director has also not forcibly injected songs into the script to follow the standard rules of a commercial film. The music is used smartly. This is not the first time that we have seen a film based on the struggle between good people and bad people in the media business but Anand has handled the subject with maturity and has not resorted to unabashed media bashing. Kavan also has a handful of flaws, for instance, one of the key characters gets shot in the gut and still manages to breathe and move around from dawn to dusk, defying the logic of medical science. But, we can afford to overlook such follies for the entertainment it provides for over two-and-a-half hours.