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Kannathil Muthamittal - translated as "A Peck on the Cheek" - is a 2002 Indian Tamil-language war drama film. The film's title was from a famous phrase of a poem written by Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar, a poet and a freedom fighter of the Indian Independence Movement. The movie was produced and directed by Mani Ratnam based on a short story, "Amuthavum Avanum," written by Sujatha Rangarajan.


The film begins in a small village in Sri Lanka, where a Tamil Sri Lankan couple was in the middle of the insurgence against the Sri Lankan government to liberate Tamils in Sri Lanka. Owing to the threatening situation, the mother, Shyama, who was pregnant, fled to India on a boat to Rameswaram's shores (Tamil Nadu) to seek refugee due to the war. However, her urge to unite with her husband fight for the cause with her people, Shyama left behind the newborn girl, hoping that the girl would lead a better life.


The movie is narrated by a young girl Amudha 9 years later, in Chennai, India. She gets to know from her foster parents that she is adopted. As soon as she learns the truth, she is determined to find and meet her biological mother, who she knows is from Sri Lanka. Amudha begs to be taken to Sri Lanka, where her mother is part of the militant group - Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE/Tamil Tigers). What Amudha and her parents saw was terrifying and edifying - terrifying because they put themselves in the middle of a dangerous war, edifying because it makes them understand the pressures that Shyama faced when she abandoned her daughter.


Kannathil Muthamittal is thus about this adopted refugee child, her angst, her quest, her understanding, and, finally, her hope.

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