The Netflix original Paava Kadhaigal isn’t going to be anything like Amazon Prime Video’s lockdown anthology Putham Pudhu Kaalai. The new Tamil anthology seems to be carefully drawn from the lives of people living in small towns.
Gautham Vasudev Menon is seen in a dhoti and starring alongside his Vaaranam Aayiram heroine Simran. Nobody would have seen that coming. But Menon’s interest in the acting department is well-known.
What’s interesting is how actors have moulded themselves to play queer characters — Kalidas Jayaram, Anjali and Kalki Koechlin are just some examples. It was a watershed moment when Vijay Sethupathi starred as a transwoman in Super Deluxe last year. His portrayal of Shilpa came in for appreciation, for he works in an industry where some male stars refuse to shed their starry image even for a minute on-screen in a feature film.
Paava Kadhagail, which streams on Netflix from December 18, is releasing at a time when films about marginalised communities are being made in the West as well. This anthology is made by Gautham Vasudev Menon, Sudha Kongara, Vetri Maaran and Vignesh Shivan. It stars an eclectic cast of actors that includes Prakash Raj, Sai Pallavi and Shanthnu Bhagyaraj.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if each of the short films ends on a gut-wrenching note. After all, with a title like Paava Kadhaigal, there is not too much scope for sunshine and optimism.