Saturday, February 6, 2016

Visaranai - Review

Visaranai is hard hitting and interesting yet not satisfying!!! As the title suggests, the movie deals about police inquiry. To be precise,it shows how brutal the police inquiries are.The best part is,the director Vetrimaran has done exceedingly well to extract the best performances out of all the actors involved, which is why everything looks believable and the movie is getting positive reviews. On the downside, the movie is easily predictable. Vetrimaran says the movie is inspired from a real life incident and he even shows one man associated with the incident. But we have come across such incidents and theories many times in newspapers, infact even in movies too.

On 1st January this year, a movie called 'Tharkappu' got released which had a similar storyline to Visaranai and interestingly Samuthirakani played the role of Human Rights Commissioner in that movie too, who plays a cop here. In Tharkappu, Sakthi will kill Riyas Khan in a 'planned' encounter. Riyas Khan, before getting killed will say 'enna konnutingannaa ennoda sendhu pala unmaigalum sethudum'. Kishore's character is very similar to that of Riyas Khan. And in another scene in Tharkappu, Samuthirakani will say 'indha report veliya ponaale neenga uyiroda irukka mudiyadhu officer' to Sakthi. Samuthirakani's character is similar to Sakthi's character. Not sure if Tharkappu was inspired from the same real life incident.

You can make a movie about 'police encounter' only in 2 ways - either supporting the encounter or opposing it. The stills, pre-release hype and the name Vettrimaran itself are enough to understand that the movie is against encounters. There is nothing wrong in showing how the policemen fake the evidences,witnesses and how they torture the innocents to close a case. It happens in every state of India. I have heard about it from some of my close friends who witnessed one such incident personally. While that is the case, why did Vetrimaran chose Andhra Pradesh to establish this point? There is a dialogue in the movie 'you know about these Tamil people'. A Telugu speaking cop will say this to a judge, in the sense that Tamil people are liars. As expected, the dialogue is received with an angry response from the crowd,which booed the Telugu cop(read Telugu people). Linguistic fanaticism has always been a problem in India. If you have dialogues and scenes like this, the situation can get worse. After all, cinema is just about making money and is it fair to instigate linguistic fights? That too for an award winning director like Vetrimaran? There is a reason for choosing Andhra Pradesh as the place where the incident(or inquiry) takes place in first half.

Last year an encounter happened in Andhra Pradesh in which 20 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu, were shot dead by Andhra Pradesh's red sanders anti-smuggling taskforce. There were strong protests in Tamil Nadu against the encounter and infact people went to the extent of pelting stones at Andhra bank branches in Tamil Nadu. Even petrol bombs were hurled at an Andhra Bank branch. The argument against the encounter was that the 20 woodcutters were innocents and they were not smugglers. The police,for the sake of closing the case,killed those innocent people - this was the argument of protesters. This could be the reason for choosing AP. The climax is based on the Chennai Velachery encounter which happened in 2012.

So the director's opinion is these two were fake encounters and he made a movie to express the same. How the AP police treats the Tamil people and how police encounters happen in Tamil Nadu is what Visaranai is all about. In my opinion, Tharkappu had a better logic than Visaranai. Tharkappu explains the horrors of encounters and the trap laid by big shots in carrying out these encounters atleast in one or two scenes. The much hyped climax didn't make any impact at all(atleast for me) and I would have been surprised only had the climax been any different.

The script and writing is pretty ordinary,but making-wise the movie stands tall. I felt like watching a police station for 2 hours.'Attakathi' Dinesh, Murugadass, Samuthirakani and even that ruthless AP police inspector has given life to this movie and should appreciate Vetrimaran for that. G V Prakash's BGM was good enough to make this movie an interesting watch.

Vetrimaran's Visaranai, may win many awards(already the movie has won an international award it seems). It may be a commercial winner too, but not a trendsetter or a unique movie, as it is being projected in social media.