Out Of Theatre

Rajathanthiram

Out Of Theatre
13 Mar, 2015 2 hrs 12 mins U
Veera Bahu, Regina Cassandra, Darbuka Siva, Ajay Prasad, Pattiyal Sekar, Naren, Ilavarasu
Synopsis
The heist plan is clearly laid out and the film has the audience glued to the seats with its twists and turns
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: Three small-time criminals take up an offer to rob one of the biggest jewellery shops in the city. Will they be successful in their attempt, given that the store's owner, a ruthless man, is aware of the plan?

Movie Review: Rajathandhiram begins with the sale of a bike. Two prospective buyers approach the guy who wants to sell the bike. The mechanic whom one of them has brought also jumps into the fray when he hears the price. Soon, one man pays for it and takes it home. But when he comes out to show it to his family members, the bike is gone. And, then, we see that the other three players we saw in the previous scene are all friends. They are con artists and they have successfully staged a con. In the voice over, Arjun, the mastermind behind the plot tells us that they are not cheating anyone but exploiting the greed of others to make some money. We immediately think of Sathuranka Vettai , whose hero, too, operated on this same principle. In a few minutes, we get a scene involving a MLM meeting and our fears of a retread only increase.

But then, Rajathandhiram reveals itself to be a totally different film. Arjun and his friends Deva and Kullan are approached by Madhavan Iyer, their go-to-guy, who wants them to rob the jewellery shop of Azhagappan, a big shot jeweler in the city, for his friend Dharma. They initially back out, and Arjun even goes to Azhagappan and informs him of the plan, but give in when they learn the real motive behind Dharma's request. And thus begins an exciting game of double and triple crossing that keeps us on the edge of our seat till the end.

Making a heist film is as tricky as pulling a heist for everything depends on timing. With Rajathandhiram , AG Amid has managed to perform the trick very convincingly — the filmmaking is quite nimble and confident that it is hard to believe that this is the work of a debutant director. This is most evident during a pre-interval con scene that takes place in a hotel. The protagonists are forced to stay on their toes and steal a bag and in fact, even the actual heist fails to come close to this one's nerve-wracking tension.

Amid takes his time to introduce the various players, their motives and their relationships. Then, he clearly lays out the heist plan and expertly spins a web of deceit and cunning. He also manages to introduce a romantic angle to this tale that not only feels out of place but also becomes one of the reasons for the heist to take place.

The false notes occur in the closing portions when Arjun begins to grow a conscience and the film does lose a bit of edge. A hero doesn't always have to be lawful and as long as what he does is morally right, he will always endear himself to the audience. There is a reason why Danny Ocean doesn't give up his ways; he will turn into a character that is less fun. Even the detailed account of why Dharma wants to stage the heist isn't needed. He wants to take revenge on Azhagappan is all that we need to get emotionally involved in the heist, and the flashback makes it seem overtly sentimental, especially in a film this cool. Also, the manner in which Azhagappan's son-in-law behaves after he comes to know of the truth is less convincing.

But these are just niggles, for there is so much to admire in the rest of the movie, from SR Kathir's fluid cinematography to Praveen Antony's dexterous editing and Sandeep Chowta's understated score. The actors, too, are apt. Veera strikes the right tone as a smooth operator and Darbuka Siva's timely zingers are a hoot. And, it is always a good thing when we get a heroine who can emote and can speak Tamil without making it seem like miming. We wonder why Regina doesn't get more opportunities here. Even smaller characters are quirky and convincing — like the laidback inspector, who keeps reining in his anxious subordinate while dealing with the heist. But it is Pattiyal Sekar, who is the surprise package. As Azhagappan, he is very effective in conveying quiet menace. We are just into the third month of the year but rest assured, Rajathandhiram will certainly find a place among the best films of the year.
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