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Raja Ranguski

The whodunit is a genre that always has its takers among Tamil cinema audiences and director Dharani Dharan has spun one such script which is crafted more like a novel than a film but with the help of a competent cast and crew manages to keep it engaging leading up to the big climax reveal.

Raja (Sirish) is a naive constable smitten by a mystery novel writer Ranguski (Chandini Tamilarasan) who lives in a closed gated villa community which comes under his beat. On the advice of one of the residents Maria (Anupama Kumar), Raja tries to woo his girl by calling her posing as someone else and warning her not fall for the constable. Ranguski has the habit of doing the exact opposite of what people want her to do and she sort of accepts his proposal. To the shock of Raja a person calls him in his own voice and tells him that he too love Ranguski and since she is a trouble to both of them he should kill her. A confused Raja rushes to save his lover but instead somebody else gets killed in one of the villas and he becomes the prime suspect. The case goes to the CBI and whether Raja clears his name and who the real culprit is forms the rest of the screenplay.

Sirish who impressed in his debut movie 'Metro' is aptly cast in the role of an inexperienced constable and he has done a neat job. His best moments come in the climax when he faces a hurtful betrayal. Chandini Tamilarasan as a novel writer inspired by Sujatha once again proves that she is a capable actress and from an ordinary looking girl who has nothing much to do in most of the screenplay gets to shine in and own the climax. Anupama Kumar as Maria/Mary, Jayakumar Janakiraman as the CBCID cop, Sathya as the local inspector have done justice to their roles which helps in keeping up the interest. Kalloori Vinod as a constable friend of the hero brings the laughs here and there.

As mentioned earlier the screenplay though contrived moves in an engaging manner and audiences are kept guessing as to who the real killer is which is the success of 'Raja Ranguski'. The climax does throw a surprise and the villain comes off as a soulless person till the very last breath which makes the character whole. Barring a kuthu number the usual Tamil cinema cliches have been thankfully avoided. The technology used to cheat the hero is very much a reality in today's world.

On the downside the screenplay looks like it was cooked on the go as characters appear out of nowhere and situations woven to the convenience of the writer. The motive for the murder and the way the hero is drawn into it is far fetched and quite unbelievable. The handling of the case by both the local cops and the CBCID has all the buildups but their mode of operation is like that of a bunch of amateurs. The villain's exchange of a highly coveted item for a large amount of cash in the climax is ridiculously childish in the way it is executed.

Yuvan Shankar Raja enhances the scenes with his background score, especially the sopranos that are played during the murder and the climax. The couple of songs are passable. D.K. Yuvaa's cinematography sets the mood for the whodunit capturing the villas and their interiors eerily with the angles and moves. Shafiq Muhammed Ali keeps the cuts crisp and he is one of the reasons most of the gaping loopholes are plugged in successfully. Writer-Director Dharanidharan's screenplay is far from organic but he has succeeded in keeping the audience tied to their seats by fanning their curiosity till the very end.


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