Visaranai: The rare film that turns the tide to become a force

Take a bow Vetrimaran, Visaranai, in one word, is just brilliant.

The movie Visaranai had created enough ripples amongst movie watchers before it hit screens in India by becoming the first Tamil movie to be screened at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. And that’s not it, the movie also took home the award. The Film is India’s official entry to the Oscars, and hence CY decided to re-visit it once again and boy did it win us all over again.

Visaaranai is an adaptation of a real life incident based on autorikshaw driver turned writer Chandrakumar’s book Lock Up. The writer had spent 13 days in police custody and was tortured to admit to a crime he had not committed. The director along with Chandran has come out with a very provocative film, which is consequential, at a time when courts are exposing a series of scams served up police evidences.

The director Vetrimaran has set the story revolving around three principal characters. The first half of the film is set in Guntur in Andhra, where a lot of Tamilians work. Pandi (Dinesh) works in a provision stores and is falsely implicated along with his friends in a robbery case by the local Andhra Police. The cops are under pressure from their superiors as the robbery took place in a politically influential person’s house. Ever heard of the scapegoat?

Enter Muthuvel (Samuthirakani) a Tamil Nadu policeman in search of an accountant KK (Kishore) of corrupt politicians and businessman who specializes in black money laundering. Fate intervenes as the life of three characters get entwined with each other leading to an edge-of-the-seatclimax with the many grisly twists and turns. The ending is a stunning reminder that the corrupt system prevails above everything else and that there are no winners or losers.

The film succeeds due to razor sharp writing and linear screenplay aided by terrific performances by its lead actors. One of the major highlights is that actors have been aptly cast. Dinesh’s normal mannerisms fit in with the character. Samuthirakani as the reluctant cop is fantastic especially in the police station scene with his superior. Amongst the other noteworthy performances is Kishore. He completely nails the character of the corrupt auditor – who gets the biggest surprise of his life when the tables turn. Anandi the only female in the film as a domestic help holds her own in her scenes with Dinesh.

A huge shout out to the films technicians who’ve managed a slick job – Editor Kishore’s (he passed away recently), cuts wrap the film under two hours keeping it fast paced and racy. The cameraman Ramalingam using only natural light and his colour tone makes the film visually stunning and keeps it real. GV Prakash’s background score lifts the film to a new height and is haunting in so many ways. Another major plus is the production design of the film, especially the Andhra police station and the row of toilets for prisoners and the marshland inside a housing colony in Chennai where the climax is set.

Vetrimaran has made it as realistic as possible with police torture scenes looking disturbing. This film is not for the weak hearted. Vetrimarantakes the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.

Cover Graphic : Aniruddha Das

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