Kanaa (Eng: The Dream) is a 2018 Indian Tamil language sports drama film starring Sathyaraj, Aishwarya Rajesh and Darshan in lead roles, where actor Sivakarthikeyan in a supporting role. The film is written and directed by Arunraja Kamaraj, helming the director’s hat for the first time. Kanaa has music composed by Dhibu Ninan Thomas, cinematography by Dinesh Krishnan, edited by Ruben and produced by Sivakarthikeyan in his newly established Sivakarthikeyan Productions banner. It was remade in Telugu as Kousalya Krishnamurthy, with Aishwarya and Sivakarthikeyan reprising their roles.
Kousalya Murugesan aka Kowsi (Aishwarya Rajesh), the daughter of Murugesan (Sathyaraj), a farmer, aspires to become an international cricketer so she can put a smile on her cricket-loving father’s face by helping the country win. The reason for this being portrayed in the initial scenes where Murugesan is very eager to see India’s matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. However, he gets heartbroken on seeing India’s crashing defeat to Sri Lanka in the group stages, which sees India getting subsequently knocked out. Murugesan controls his feelings before his daughter, but she witnesses him crying and being heartbroken throughout the whole night. Hence, this aspires a young Kousalya, who was aged 11 then, to take up cricket seriously, represent her country, and win the world cup one day just for her father’s sake.
Kowsi joins the local cricket team in the village who were mostly her school seniors. Kowsi’s off-spin bowling technique gets her wickets and everyone starts appreciating her talent. At the same time, she also earns the wrath of many villagers as she plays cricket with boys wearing t-shirts and trousers which is portrayed to be non-traditional. But Murugesan does not care for this and he supports Kowsi. Kowsi decides to appear for Tamil Nadu team selection test but gets rejected in her first attempt. She does not give up and tries again where she succeeds and starts playing in Tamil Nadu women’s team. Her hard work plays off and she is selected in Indian women’s cricket team. Kowsi goes to Bangalore to get trained in a national cricket academy.
Meanwhile, Murugesan faces a tough time with agriculture, as he is unable to repay the debt of Rs.4 lakhs from a bank resulting in a rift created between Murugesan and the bank manager. Kowsi faces a hard time in cricket academy due to internal politics where senior players ill-treating her as she can’t speak Hindi. The team’s coach also hates Kowsi and demotivates her to large extent. However, the coach retires and there comes a new coach Nelson Dilipkumar (Sivakarthikeyan). Nelson who was an ex-Indian cricketer had to retire after his very first International Match as he sustained a terrible eye-injury leaving him partially blinded in the left eye. Nelson develops the team’s spirit and gets the players ready for the upcoming T20 world cup. Nelson spots Kowsi’s spin bowling capabilities and trains her in the right path. Nelson also locks horn with the team selection committee and ensures that Kowsi is present in the world cup squad. However, Nelson decides to rest Kowsi for the league matches which makes her feel sad. But Nelson reveals his strategy, that the intention was to hide Kowsi’s talent from the opponents, and her bowling would be a surprise element in the semifinals.
Kowsi is selected in the playing eleven during the semifinal match against the strongest team Australia. On that day, Murugesan’s house is taken away from the bank manager for not repaying the debt. Kowsi hears this and feels bad that she is not with her father. But Kowsi is motivated by Nelson to make her father proud by playing well in the semifinals. During the match, Kowsi bowls a hat-trick and she also hits a six while batting resulting in a tie. During super over, Kowsi again bowls well leading to India’s win. Kowsi is appreciated for her bowling efforts and is awarded Rs. 5 lakhs for “Woman of the Match” award. Receiving the award, Kowsi gives an emotional speech describing the situation of her father and other farmers in the country. Murugesan feels very proud of seeing Kowsi. In the closing credits, it is shown that Indian women won the T20 final against West Indies women and Kowsi was appreciated by Tamilnadu Government for her superb bowling tactics.
Directed by Arunraja Kamaraj
Produced by Sivakarthikeyan
Written by Arunraja Kamaraj
Starring Sathyaraj, Aishwarya Rajesh, Darshan
Music by Dhibu Ninan Thomas
Cinematography Dinesh Krishnan
Edited by Ruben
Production Sivakarthikeyan Productions
Release date 21 December 2018
Running time 145 Minutes