RAMAN AANDALUM RAVANAN AANDALUM (Tamil)
Producers: Jyothika and Surya
Director: Arisil Moorthy
Cast: Mithun Manickam, Ramya Pandian, Kodangi Vadivel Murugan and Vani Bhojan
Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video
By Jyothi Venkatesh
The film revolves around the couple , the 35 year old simple farmer Kunni Muthu (Mithun Manickam) and his innocent and naïve young wife Veerayi (Ramya Pandian) who live in the remote village, Poocheri. When their beloved bulls, Vellaiyyan and Karuppan which were precious gifts from Veerayi’s father for their wedding go missing, they become crestfallen as they treat them as their own kids. When Kunni Muthu goes to the police station to file a complaint, they refuse to do that as they are busy with the complaint of a minister’s missing dog and their long search for their bulls begins with their journey spewing some disturbing truths about our social fabric today bordering on apathy.
If you are not a Tamil speaking person and left wondering what the extremely log winding title Raman Aandalum Raavanan Aandalum means and how relevant is it to the film,let me tell you that it is the opening phrase of a Rajinikanth song from the Tamil film Mullum Malarum released four decades ago. The full verse is “Raman aandalum ravanan aandalum enaku oru kavalai ila” (Whether Rama rules or Ravana, I don’t care) and a boisterous proclamation of bravado and morality. How a well meaning TV reporter Narmada (Vani Bhojan) makes a passionate case about the village’s lack of development and makes an expose in her channel and brings about a transformation in the lives of Kunnimuthu and Veerayi forms the crux of the story.
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The film sets out to drive home the poignant message that the media today is very busy often resorting to reporting non-issues even as politicians and bureaucrats siphon off crores at the cost of villages like the one Kunnimuthu lives in and amass money by cheating the masses. When it is learned that a local politician could be involved in their disappearance, the story takes a political detour with a lot ofinteresting as well as multiple twists and turns. The film also exposes the inexplicable nexus as well as grip that the electronic media has with the politicians This film often reminds you of Aamir Khan’s ambitious issue based film Peepli Live. Like Aamir set out to produce that film, here it is indeed commendable that Surya has set out to produce this film with his actress wife Jyothika.
As far as the performances go, I should concede that all the three main performers, whether it is Mithun Manickam or Ramya Pandian or for that matter Vani Bhojan have nailed their characters with effortless ease an it is to the credit of the director Arisil Moorthy that he has made a film which is not only appealing to the core but also disturbs you with several issue based questions which need answers from those rule the nation immediately, though all said and done, the editing ought to have been made slightly slicker to hold interest whenever the pace starts slowing as far as the film is concerned.
All said and done, I’d still advocate that this film ought to be a must in your choice of films to be seen this weekend, because it is gripping and tackles a contemporary issue beautifully