Tamil movie Karnan - Review, Decoding

 This movie is about a village called Podiyankulam located in South Tamilnadu. The village has few people who are working with the forest they have nearby. One of the main problems the village has is the unavailability of public transportation such as a bus. They don't have any transportation to go out from the village even for education.  

Tamil Movie Karnan review and decoding

As they don't have a bus stop and none of the buses stop for them, they have to be depending on the bus stop located nearby Podiyankulam called Melur. As podiyankulam people have to be depending on melur for the bus stop, Melur people look at Podiyankulam low. Because of this, many quarrels are happening between these two villages. 

With this back story following characters have been designed for this movie, 

Karnan - Dhanush

Karnan is an young man trying for becoming a military man. 

Yema Raja - Lal

Yema Raja is the uncle and companion of Karnan in everything. 

Yogi Babu - Vadamalaiyaan

Vadamalaiyan is an young man in podiyankulam who runs a small shop in the village. 

S P Kannabiran - Nadarajan / Natty

Kanna biraan is a police who comes for investigation to Podiyankulam. 

Draupathy - Rajitha Vijayan

Sister of Vadamalaiyaan who has got attracted to Karnan. 

Kokila - Gauri Kishan

In a young girl in Podiyankulam who is trying to study well by traveling to Tirunelveli which is the nearby city of the village. 

Padmini - Lakshmi Priya

Sister of Karnan who works in the forest for the family. 

Dhuriyodhanan - G M Kumar

Leader of Podiyankulam village. 

Abhimanyu - Shunmugarajan

Another lean man of the village. 

Azhagam Perumal has done the role of leader of Melur. 

The movie starts with the reveal of climax that Karnan gets locked in jail with the song, Kanda Vara sollunga. Then it starts showing the nature of Podiyankulam village and the lifestyle of the people in that village and all the characters we have mentioned above. 

Then the story moves with some scenes to show the intensity of the problem that the village has with bus transportation, love life in the village, and their lifestyle. At a point, Karnan gets a problem with his lover because of a wrong word from Yogi babu who is the brother of Karnan's lover. On the other hand, Karnan plays a kabaddi game and he gets angry as the opponent from Melur village treating the good performance of Karnan low through the umpire of the game. 

Parallelly, another situation is going on in the village that a pregnant lady is waiting for the bus on road to go from Podiyankulam to the city, but none of the buses stops. Having all these problems and pressure, Dhanush, other youngsters of Podiyankulam, and the first son of that pregnant lady break the bus totally with stones and wooden sticks. 

Because of this incident, the Police lead by Kanna biraan enters the village for inquiry. At that time, Kannabiraan was not given a chair to sit and he is not given great respect by the people of Podiyankulam. As the bus company owner wants to get back the police complaint, police go back from the village by saying that the persons who involved in breaking the bus should come to the police station and sign. But the village people refuse to send the youngsters but the elder people are going to the police station. 

In the police station, Kannabiraan beats all those elder people brutally. When Karnan comes to know that the elders are attacked, he and some youngsters of Podiyankulam breaks the police station and taking the elders back to their village. What happened after that and what Karnan did are revealed in the climax of the movie. 

Decoding :

Beauties in Tamil movie Karnan:

Statue without head:

A statue of god which does not have a head portion. In shot, the sun replaces the head of the statue. We should imagine, how many hours the team of Karnan movie should have waited for the shot. There is a story said that in India, before many years, all the statue of Bhuddha were damaged, particularly the head of those statues damaged. 


There is a horse shown in this movie. The horse enters Podiyankulam by a small boy of that village who wants to keep that horse as a pet animal. In a scene, Karnan gets burst out as the bus he travels back to podiyankulam refuses to stop at his bus and he fights with high emotions even he falls down from that running bus. After that scene, the legs of the horse which goes inside water is shown and on the other hand, Karnan keeps his leg inside water and gets cool down with a hug from his lover Draupathi. 

The same horse has been shown to represent God in some scenes like when the younger sister comes in the dream of their father. Also, the horse and sword have been used in the climax equally representing the weapons of god.  

This beauty is rare in cinema that the heated hero cools down which is shown by comparing the scene with the wet legs of a horse. 

Donkey :

There is a donkey shown in this movie several times with tied legs. 

Whenever the scene shows the inability of the people of that village, before starting those scenes, the tied legs of the donkey have been shown. For example, a scene starts by showing the tied legs of the donkey and moves to show that Kokila wants to travel from Podiyankulam to the city by bus, she goes to Melur bus stop with her father, and she gets insulted by Melur youngsters. Here the inability of Podiyankulam people, Kokila, and her father to travel from Podiyankulam has been compared with the tied legs of the donkey. 

There are many scenes starting by showing the tied legs of the donkey. 


In a scene, Kannabiraan does fishing and at the same time, the same time scenario has been shown side by side that elders of Podiyankulam are waiting in the police station for Kannabiraan for a long time without even given a chair to sit. In this scene, the fish represents Karnan and other youngsters of the village and the earthworm is the village elders and he waits for Karnan to come and catch the needle to catch him and torture him. 

Another simple thing shown throughout the film is the soul of Karnan younger sister which comes with the head of the goddess statue. 

Reference for Parierum Perumal

Towards the end of movie we could see the name of one of the 5 people died due to the attack of police is Parierum Perumal in this movie.


It is one of the best movies in Tamil cinema talks against castes and human rights. 

It is not made as a boring movie and made with interesting scenes. 

All the actors have done their part well and good, especially Lal has made his acting and screen presence extraordinary in this movie. 

Another important thing is the village people have acted as well as professional actors in this movie. The same thing happened in Paiyerum Perumal too. 

Music has been part of the movie that all the scenes have been elevated with the music and give appropriate effect to the audience. All the songs are nice to hear and they can not be destroyed with time. 


Even though the whole village is a set, each and everything from a village house in 1990' has been taken back to show on-screen with perfection. 

Overall movie has been narrated as a linear story having in deep analysis, detailing which gives worth watching. A great message is said in the movie to see every person equally. 

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