Raththam is director CS Amudhan’s first “serious” film, and he had made two spoof movies prior to this, titled Thamizh Padam and Thamizh Padam 2, respectively. I must admit that after being boringly generic till the interval point, Amudhan teases the audience with a spectacular interval reveal. But the problem with this thriller is that, barring this particular antagonist reveal, everything else happening in this script still feels like a spoof. Amudhan, who had made fun of the illogical way of commercial movies in Tamil, adopted the same things when he got a chance to make a movie.
Ranjith Kumar is a world-renowned investigative journalist. But after his wife’s death, he decided to leave that career, and the depression eventually made him an alcoholic. A few years later, his ex-boss Rathnam Pandian, who also happened to be a father-like figure for him, comes to Kumar seeking emotional support as Pandian’s son, Chezhiyan, who was a journalist and brother-like figure to Kumar, got murdered by the fan of a superstar actor, against whom Chezhiyan had written an article. What we see in Raththam is the return of Kumar to the job and how he finds a common link between the death of Chezhiyan and several other similar murders happening in the city.
If you rename this movie as Thamizh Padam 3 and show it to an audience, there is a good possibility that most of them will buy it as a spoof film. Because the typical exaggeration we see in a Tamil film is there throughout the film. We see the hero for the first time with a thick beard, and he is also an alcoholic. The montage shots that depict his drunken lifestyle are really dull, and the steps we see in the investigation also have broad strokes and fewer nuances. SPOILER ALERT! It was actually how the movie revealed the antagonist as the interval twist that gave me and the audience with whom I saw the film some hope. But when it comes to the second half, the mixing of heroics and cyber crime tactics again sort of drags the movie into a pretentious space.
The writing of the movie in the first half feels like a mix of Jeethu Jospeh’s Memories with a pinch of Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani. Even though both these movies are terrific thrillers, when it comes to Raththam, the spoon-fed detailing in the dialogues makes it underwhelming as a thriller. The big data crime concept was something that definitely needed a spotlight as the manipulative power of data needs to be addressed. But CS Amudhan almost sets the antagonist free towards the end, making the whole movie look like a theft mission of a journalist to find some hard disks using a horse.
The typical grumpy and moody tone of Vijay Antony’s acting suits the character of Ranjith Kumar. But when it comes to expressing these very sensitive emotions, his acting is way too loud and somewhat overly physical. Even in the dialogue delivery in those scenes that needs to show his intellect and intelligence, the hurried nature of dialogue delivery somewhat gives us a feeling that he is simply saying the mugged-up lines without any emotions. SPOILER ALERT! The real surprise for me in the movie was Mahima Nambiar. It’s a very tricky character as CS Amudhan tries to break the cliche by switching gender and also not giving a cliched backstory for that character. And Mahima has a very alluring charisma in that conversation scene with Vijay Antony in the second half. It’s a shame that Amudhan put an end to that character in a very hasty way. Nizhalgal Ravi, Nandita Swetha, Jagan Krishnan, Uday Mahesh, Ramya Nambeesan, etc., are the other names in the cast of the film.
Raththam is not an utterly poor film. The data-driven crime execution theme that drives the movie is actually a fascinating concept. But CS Amudhan takes way too much time to reach that point, and the way he tries to explain every bit through dialogue, underestimating the basic intelligence of the audience, makes it a less exciting thriller with no major surprises beyond the interval point.
Amudhan, who had made fun of the illogical way of commercial movies in Tamil, adopted the same things when he got a chance to make a movie.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended