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'Visaaranai' review: It's a flawless gem

Karthik Keramalu | @KarthikKeramalu

Updated: February 6, 2016, 11:16 AM IST
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'Visaaranai' review: It's a flawless gem
‘Visaaranai’ is a film that would make the weak hearted cough their hearts out. It would also make the strong hearted check their heart beat every once in a while.

Cast: ‘Attakathi’ Dinesh, ‘Aadukalam’ Murugadoss, Samuthirakani, Kishore, Ajay Ghosh, Anandhi.
Director: Vetrimaaran

‘Visaaranai’ is a film that would make the weak hearted cough their hearts out. It would also make the strong hearted check their heart beat every once in a while.

Vetrimaaran comes back to the screens as a director after half a decade. The filmmaker gets his hands dirty this time with a film that paints a disturbing picture of violence and humanity. It makes a point about the color of money and about the color of innocence too. ‘Attakathi’ Dinesh and his friends work in Guntur. They are a bunch of Tamil people who still haven’t learned Telugu. ‘Aadukalam’ Murugadoss is the only guy who can manage to get some Telugu words out. These young migrants are taken to a police station for a crime they aren’t related to and thrashed from sunrise to moonrise.

There are various methods used by the police to torture the poor men. The pretty smart guy of the group happens to be Pandi (Dinesh), of course, the hero of the film. But, trust me, ‘Visaaranai’ is purely the work of an auteur. Ajay Ghosh (a brutal, bald-headed police officer) gives Tirupati prasadam to Murugadoss. Just when Murugadoss thinks Ghosh is gentlemanly, he gets the shock of his life. Ghosh orders his juniors to strip them. So, the Tamil speaking migrants, who are picked up by the police, begin to get another round of beating with only their innerwear on. The turn of events from one night on the streets to the next night in the police station points to one guy named Afsal. The goondas in police uniform want to know if Afsal is a member of the ISIS or the Al-Qaeda. When Afsal answers in the negative, he is pushed into the police van.
Ajay Ghosh is not a bad officer. He is simply doing his duty. His heart doesn’t suffer from lack of white, it soberly settles in grey. On the other hand, the same cannot be said about another police officer in another city. Samuthirakani, the best supporting actor of the lot, (also a policeman), suffers because his soul cannot settle in grey. The guilt-attacked Samuthirakani and the evil Ajay Ghosh are merely fishhooks. They are used to catch fish and when their job is done, they are not required anymore.

Samuthirakani is handling a different case. Vetrimaaran’s regular Kishore, a criminal who speaks in crores, enters the scene. Kishore is questioned in an air-conditioned room but is still stripped to his underwear later on. This shows that there’s no discrimination when it comes to the duties performed by policemen.

Any other filmmaker would have done serious damage to the format by adding a comedy bit or an irrelevant song. Vetrimaaran chooses to let even the little silences make noise. The cast and crew have worked toward a singular vision set by the screenplay.

‘Visaaranai’ coolly ends up as the story of the muscle tree. The tree that’s bigger gets more space and it decides how the smaller trees need to behave.

Rating: 5/5

First Published: February 6, 2016, 11:03 AM IST
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