Ratchasan Movie Review

Director Ramkumar who made the delightfully entertaining comedy 'Mundasupatti' has once again teamed up with Vishnu Vishal, Muniskanth and Kaali Venkat to come up with a psycho thriller that has its spine chilling moments. Will this highly western influenced genre film satisfy all sections of the audiences remains to be seen.

Arun (Vishnu Vishal) is an aspiring filmmaker who is going from one producer to another to get his heavily researched psycho thriller script into a movie but is turned down citing one reason or the other. His mother forces him to take up the police SI job that comes to him due to his dead father's compassion quota. As soon as he joins duty fifteen year old girls are murdered in a most terrifying manner and he applies his film research experience to deduce that a psychotic killer is at large. His egoistic superior officer (Suzanne) does not accept his ideas and insults him at every turn. Meanwhile Arun finds the time to fall for a school teacher Viji (Amala Paul) who is with a mute child. As Arun gets on warms upto the case death strikes in his own home and whether he gets the better of the unknown murderer crossing the barrier of the unhelpful police force as well forms the rest of the screenplay.

Among the younger generation of heroes, Vishnu Vishal is one who can handle many types of characters with ease. Here his fit body suits the role of the aspiring filmmaker turned junior cop. He is very convincing when he brainstorms his way into deducing the unknown killer and when he breaks down on losing a dear one. Amala Paul as usual gives her best as a school teacher who has a physically disabled child in her care. However her character has no impact on the screenplay and at times her scenes actually hamper the pace for no fault of hers. Muniskanth aka Ramadoss proves what a versatile talent he is donning an out and out serious role and his emoting is particularly moving when he tries to come to terms with a terrible fate that befalls on his household. Suzanne is aptly cast as the egoistical Inspector who has a grudge against the hero and when she is put in her place in the climax the theater erupts with joy just like in her debut film 'Myna'. Kaali Venkat is wasted in an inconsequential role while veterans Radha Ravi and Nizhalgal Ravi are pretty functional. The guy playing the amorous Inbaraj is another brilliant piece of casting by Ramkumar and so are the psychopaths with their hideous makeup. The actor playing Christopher and his mother Mary send the chills down the spine and though his treatment by the students in the past is forced and seems fake his acting is earnest.

The filmmaker must be lauded for the deep research that he has put in to design the psychopath, his fractured psyche and the modus operandi to smoke him out into the open. The scene in which Vishnu enters the school and warns the girl who is the next target without alarming her is a well conceived one. The following sequence involving the rescue of that girl by Vishnu from the piano playing madcap is edge of the seat stuff. The climax sequences that combine magical illusion with action is choreographed in a highly thrilling manner. The research work of a filmmaker coming in handy when handling the case is a clever and fresh infusion into the screenplay. To top it all the curiosity level is kept at a high level till the very end which is the biggest plus.

On the downside the close to three hours running time is a big stretch under any circumstances. The mandatory love episode is as much a pull down as the unnecessary heroism that is painted on the hero's character. It is highly improbable for a novice Sub Inspector to have such a free hand as depicted in this film which would have been okay in a commercial masala but sticks out sorely in such a cerebral script. The psychopath is too alien to Tamil sensibilities and seems to have walked in straight from a Hollywood slasher film in spite of the Anglo Indian background. Another noticeable minus is the screenplay cheats the audiences rather than keeping them guessing with the red herrings placed at regular intervals.

Gibran as usual has tuned in a couple of melodious songs that are great to hear and makes his presence felt strongly in the background score which amps up the thrills. P.V. Shankar's cinematography with uneasy movements keeps the proceedings tense while San Lokesh could have done better by trimming the length to make it crispier which the film needs urgently. The art director deserves a pat on his back especially for the mortuary setting and the psycho hideout. Director Ramkumar should first be congratulated for choosing the exact opposite genre to his blockbuster debut 'Mundasupatti' and making it engaging in most parts. His research work and grip on his subject makes one want more of him in the future in such diverse genres. Rating: 2.75 / 5

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