Mari Selvaraj's Dhanush-starrer Karnan is the savage dance of the marginalised, the oppressed and the downtrodden.
In this case, we are talking about a village on the fringes of the law. The opening shot itself sets the mood of the reels to follow as our heartbeats drain out with the sinking life of a young girl bang on the middle of the road as buses pass by. Yes, pass by, but do not stop.
This grim imagery pervades through the 158-minute saga.
The administration, egged on by a more fortunate, nearby village dictates that the Panniyankulam is a forest that doesn't warrant a bus stop.
Yes, if the bus stops there, Panniyankulam will probably get wings to realise its dreams, especially education, the lack of which is bogging down its men and women.
The travails of Panniyankulam, as if that of the oppressed, is the overriding motif of Karnan.
But Karnan is no sacrificial lamb here. Dhanush's protagonist embodies the suppressed rage of a village that assumes savage proportions when they are trampled upon too often.
In Karnan, if we spot Mari Selvaraj's Pariyerum Perumal, Pa Raanjith's Kaala and relish a rising, it is only natural.
Santhosh Narayanan's BGM syncs with the disturbing thread of Karnan.
And a disturbing thread means the reels are splashed with the scent of blood.
Theni Eashwar's cinematography does all it takes to pan through the wounds of Panniyankulam whether through stunning aerials or zooming through the vibrant imageries which embody the angst of the godforsaken village.
Among the cast more than Dhanush as the raging inferno, Lal and Yogi Babu have commendable roles. If you thought Yogi Babu is a comic element in Karnan, as is his wont, you are thoroughly mistaken.
Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli stands out with her stellar performance as Karnan's sister and so is Rajisha Vijayan, our man's romantic interest.
Karnan is on the lengthier side as far as reels are concerned, but when you are narrating the turbulent lives of a village as a whole, that is pardonable.
Mari Selvaraj is not offering you a holistic viewpoint. The cops, the bus conductors, the district administration, nearby village and all others in the world have nothing humane in them. Except Panniyankulam's distressed lot fighting for mere survival.
But then we can never rule out similar cases of collective suffering in our own friendly neighbourhood, can we?
So do not shirk the trail of blood in Karnan, may be Karnan should be a pointer to our hapless folks elsewhere.