"Nedunalvaadai" Movie Review: Selvakannan Says No To Glorifications And Preachiness In His Directorial Debut

Bindhiya Nhi |Mar 25, 2019

Unlike other rural movies, Nedunalvaadai directed by Selvakannan brings you a pleasant feeling thanks to its down-to-earth plot and brilliant cast.


Director: Selvakannan
Cast: Poo Ramu, Mime Gopi, Elvis Alexander, Anjali Nair
Rating: 3.5/5


In a campus interview, Ilango (Elvis Alexander) receives a question asking about his ambitions at the moment. He softly answers that he wants nothing but takes good care of his mother and his sister. The interviewer does not believe that is all he wants. He replies that though it sounds easy, it is still something quite impossible for people like him. However, Nedunalvaadai is not a heart-breaking movie about the life of a poor young man that will make you cry your heart out. The film does not only focus on the plight of hopeless farmers, which is such a cliché in Kollywood. Director Selvakannan says no to veneration and preachiness for his debut as a director. He keeps Nedunalvaadai down-to-earth, but at the same time, it is also pleasant and gentle.

Pechiamma (Senthikumari) gets married, but the husband later leaves her and their kids, including Ilango. She has no choice but to find her father Karuvathevar (Poo Ramu) for help. Karuvathevar promises that he will take care of Pechiamma and her kids until his last breath. Nevertheless, Chellai's son Kombiah (Mime Gopi) hates how his father devotes his life to the care of his sister. He always bullies his sister and makes her feel embarrassed. Karuvathevar tries to cheer Ilango up, saying that if he could be successful in the future, he could help his mother get out of this shameful situation.


In the hands of director Selvakannan, Karuvathevar appears to be such a wise and patient man. His countenance is also well-sketched. He lives in his genuine way even though society might go against him. When his grandchild Ilango needs money to go abroad, Karuvathevar sells his land without hesitation. His friend warns him about the existing norms in the village, but all he cares about is the life of his daughter. In fact, unlike other feminist movies, Selvakannan does an outstanding job as bringing awareness to feminism and patriarchy.

However, Selvakannan's directorial debut is not as good as what we expected when it comes to romance. Ilango has a neighbourhood friend called Amudha (Anjali Nair). The pair grow up together, and Amudha undoubtedly falls for the young boy. Though their chemistry is right, Ilango and Amudha's love story is such a cliché. Amudha's family is wealthy compared to other families in their village. And yes, you already have had enough of those love stories in which the protagonist wants to marry his love despite the gap between rich and poor.

Nedunalvaadai exactly knows how to tug at people's heartstrings thanks to its brilliant casting choices. The cast is also the reason why the movie is different from other North Indian films. Poo Ramu proves that he is the backbone of the flick as it seems like the role is tailor-made for him. Anjali Nair has an earnest performance as she tends to be relatable to the plot and the movie background. Elvis Alexander also does quite well with his role Ilango but is it not enough. As a protagonist, he should have done it better to convey the emotions and feelings in the movie. Had it not been for Alexander as the lead role, one might think that the flick would have been much more convincing.

Starring many newcomers in K-Town, Nedunalvaadai is such a sweet surprise from director Selvakannan. Despite a few shortcomings, the movie still manages to win people's hearts because of its wise casting choices, relatable performances, and a heart-warming plot. If you are into rural dramas which have ample dose of family bonding and relationships, Nedunalvaadai is a must-watch!


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