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03-03-2009, 02:03 PM #1
Priyadarshan's "Kanchivaram" set for March 13 release
The film is set in the thick of Kanchi's silk weaving industry and tells the story of a common man caught amongst the forces that be, the society he lives in and the conflict between one's adopted ideals and individual dreams.
Vengadam (Prakash Raj) steps out of jail on parole, on a rainy monsoon day into a world that looks different, a world that he does not recognize any more, and boards a bus back home. The dull rain outside his bus window is a contrast to the memories that come rushing back, each one vivid and clear, some sunny, some sweet but each one a strand that strings together the unique story of his life.
Like every young man, Vengadam dared to dream and dreamt big. Vengadam surprised one and all when he made a promise to his newborn daughter that he would drape her in a fine silk sari on her wedding day. The festivities around Vengadam came to a standstill as soon as he whispered the pledge in his daughter's ears. According to the weaver's tradition, a promise made to one's newborn child on the first day of feeding is a lifelong one, and a promise he was required to keep.
The sceptics around him warned him that this was a promise that he would never be able to fulfill on his meager weaver's income.
And, breaking this promise would be accompanied by dire consequences. Full of optimism and with faith in his abilities, Vengadam refused to budge.
While Vengadam was aware that he would not be able to buy his daughter the silk sari on his meager salary, it was a promise that he intended to keep no matter what. Due to unexpected circumstances Vengadam resorted to stealing a solitary thread of silk every day. Upon leaving work, like every worker, he would be frisked from head to toe, but the guards never found the strand of silk that Vengadam hid in his mouth. Every night, Vengadam would sneak into his cattle shed to weave each new thread. As the days and the years passed, his diligence paid off and the sari increased in length as his daughter grew into a young lady.
One day Vengadam's life changes forever after the appearance of a communist preacher in his village.
From being apolitical, he goes to the other extreme of living and breathing communism. His affiliation to the new ideology helps him become a leader of the community. He instigates a revolt against the mill-owners who rule over the workers like feudal lords and the mills are shut down. Neither the owners, nor the workers are ready for a compromise of any sort.
As the strike gets prolonged, his daughter's wedding approaches and Vengadam realises that he can't get any silk because the mills are closed. Torn between his vow and his ideology, he starts to question the principles of communism.
He realises that preaching is easier than practicing a philosophy. The film is an analysis by the director on why communism took a backseat all over the world; because those who preach it, could never practice it. As a race, humans are ambitious and at some level, also self-centred which goes against the dictates of collectivism.