A reputed American daily The New York Times (NYT) has listed Tamil film Karnan among five films worth watching. In its monthly ‘International Streaming’ column, the publication lists Karnan as a “bristling Tamil Neo-Western” film. Directed by Mari Selvaraj, the film was released in theaters on 9 April. It was later released on the OTT platform Amazon Prime Video on 14 May. The film starring actor Dhanush has been receiving praise from critics and audience since its release.
Columnist Devika Girish of NYT’s ‘International Streaming’ column has listed Tamil filmmaker Mari Selvaraj’s Karnan at number four in a list of five films. He described the film as a “thrilling Indian twist on the Neo-Western”. She said that the film featured an “armed villager, a villainous policeman and a flamboyant, anti-horseman hero”.
my latest @anytime The streaming column is over! This month’s picks include the Chilean film-memoir I Never Climbed the Provincia, the powerful Tamil neo-Western Karnan, the gorgeous French New Wave-riff The Cloud in the Room, and more. https://t.co/Tl3YO15di3— Devika Girish (@devikagirgayi) September 28, 2021
Devika said in her column that the film is based on “horrible real-life incidents” from the 1990s.
The film tells the story of the victims of police brutality in Podiankulam, a small village of poor and lower caste people in South India. Bus drivers also refuse to stop their buses at the village bus stops, causing further trouble to the villagers. This created a riot-like situation in the village after the disappointed villagers pelted stones on the buses. Later, the villagers are subjected to police brutality and casteist abuses by those in power. The film features Tamil superstar Dhanush as the fearless Karnan who saves the villagers from cruelty. The film is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Apart from Karnan, the NYT has shortlisted four more films for this month. These are the Chilean film-memoirs I Never Climbed the Provincia, the French film Riff the Cloud in Her Room, the slow-burn Romanian drama The Father Who Moves Mountain and a documentary about baseball in Japan, Koshin: Japan Field of Dreams.