The year was in the late 1980s, it’s the village centre in one of the numerous villages in Tamil Nadu, the sun as just set when we see the headman starting a countdown 3…2…1, we hear the entire village erupting in joy. What are they celebrating? The arrival of electricity connection to their village. The joy didn’t last for long. The villagers enjoy the productivity increase that came with Electricity and modern machinery when the severe power shortages in Tamil Nadu of last decade hits them hard. The indifference of the state electricity department officials adds to their misery. Thus the opening unfolds in Kanavu Variyam (கனவு வாரியம்) by Debut Director Arun Chidambaram.

As we sit up looking to a good entertainment, the downer starts when Actor “ஆணழகன்” (handsome man) Arun Chidambaram comes on screen. The uninventive screenplay then fastens the descend, we close our eyes and start to count sheep.

With the electricity coming to the village, a young schoolboy Ezhil gets captivated by appliances around him. As the teachers in the government school fail to answer his inquisitive questions, Ezhil drops from the school to work for a Radio repair shop. As a young man Ezhil (Arun) fixes everything he could lay his hands on, manages (surprise, surprise) to fall in love with a girl Veena (Jiya Shankar) who returns from Chennai to the village with her brother. The dire power position in the village pushes him to come up with a solution – he turns to wind power, and that’s what he does for next 90 minutes. He keeps assembling (not inventing, not building) small setup in the local temple land to finally getting a wind turbine powerful enough to power the whole village at a cost of Rs.30 lakhs.

The “Kalla Manna” song showing kids playing traditional games is enjoyable, a nice combination of good lyrics, fine music and great visualisation. Had Arun the director & writer for the song, put in the same effort for rest of the film, “Dream Factory” would have turned out to be true.

Kanavu Variyam – wasted opportunity

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