Arya’s last major blockbuster was the 2013 romantic drama Raja Rani. Though he appeared in around a dozen films after that, he’s never found a green patch. Kadamban surely looks like one, but, it fails to put the movie on the top of the map.
Arya plays Kadamban, a son of the soil kind-of-man who is raised in a forest. Kadamban is a modern Tarzan. He, shirtlessly, roams about in the forest, climbs trees, and falls off cliffs with nothing but a rope tied to his waist. Arya, certainly, looks the part he’s playing; still, his character doesn’t offer enough depth for us to sympathize with his suffering.
Kadamban, mostly, reminded me of S. S. Rajamouli’s Sye, a sports drama where two warring groups from a college join forces to fight against the tyranny of a land-grabber. The same happens in the recently released Tamil movie, albeit, with a change of setting and characters.
The evil head of the cement factory who wants to move the forest dwellers (because he wants to make money there) is modeled on Pradeep Rawat’s Bhikshu Yadav, and the characters essayed by Arya and Rajasimman are borrowed from the know-hows of Nithiin and Shashank from the Telugu movie.
Filmmaker B. Gopal milked the Baashha template for three Telugu films (Balakrishna starrers Samarasimha Reddy, Narasimha Naidu; and the Chiranjeevi starrer Indra). All of them went on to become super hits. They were also dubbed into Hindi with cheap titles. Even to this day, the Telugu films are remembered for their punch dialogues and action scenes. As the Baashha template goes, the basic storyline of these movies follow a routine – a do-gooder minds his business; yet, his violent past won’t let him live peacefully and, soon enough, it catches up with him; then, in the final few moments, the hero kills all the bad guys and walks away with the heroine into the sunset.
This template was rehashed recently for Atlee’s Theri starring Vijay and Siva’s Vedalam starring Ajith.
These are not the only films to use different clothes for the same set of bodies. There are several other Indian films that fall into this category.
Similarly, Ragava, the director of Kadamban has used Sye’s template to give us a film on the ill-effects of deforestation. Just look at how Rajasimman and Arya smile at each other in the climax. They were, until that point, hurling abuses at each other. In Sye, and in Kadamban, the principal characters belonging to a community (college – Sye; forest –Kadamban) throw their power around for everybody to see. However, when they are attacked by an outsider, they join hands to boot him out. The situations in real life, too, echo these sentiments. People come together to put a common enemy down in spite of their differences.
So, which is the next film that’s going to use this template?
Written by - Karthik Keramalu
Watch Fully Filmy's Kadamban 2-minute review