Director - KS Thangasamy
Cast - Lagubaran, Swetha, Ajay, K S Thangasamy, Tarun, Elizabeth
A neat screenplay, a smooth narrative and some fine performances by a cast of freshers makes ‘Raattinam’ a worthy viewing experience. Writer-director KS Thangasamy executes his narration with so much confidence and assurance that it belies the fact that it is his first project. The story is set in Tuticorin where the protagonist Jayam works as a supplier at the Port Trust. One generally associates films set in this place with violence and ‘aruval’ wielding gangs. But the film is sans any mindless violence. However, action comes at a later stage with two lovers going through a roller coaster ride, as their families refuse to cooperate. The characters are finely tuned and the actors do complete justice to their roles.
Debutant Lagubaran (a former directorial assistant) essays Jayam with subtlety and maturity. Chubby Swathi as the high school girl Dhanam wooed by Jayam, is a promising find too. The scenes of Jayam’s friend Shekhar’s (Ajay, well cast) failed romantic tryst have some fun moments. The earlier encounter between Jayam and Dhanam too are laced with humour. Jayam is from a politically influential family and his brother Ashok is a trusted worker of a political party. And, Dhanam’s father is an officer at the port Trust and her uncle is a renowned advocate.
The director has portrayed Ashok’s character extremely well. The whole idea of a man caught between sibling love, and his own political aspiration is brought out brilliantly. When the romance comes to light, the families naturally dont take to it kindly. But they handle it in a practical and a low-key manner, hoping that the issue would pass over. The way the cops deal with the situation when they confront the lovers as they return from a romantic outing, has a natural touch. The director has handled these scenes with maturity, and realism.
The film at times reminds you of ‘Kadhal’.
Celluloid love stories generally have a fairy tale ending or a tragic finale. But, kudos to the director for thinking differently. It is an ending that is laudable and different. The closing scene lingers on Jayam’s aged father, the haunting image of a man who had still not got over the loss of his near ones. A man who watches sadly and cynically how the rest have moved on in life, comfortable in their new relationships. Smaller films of debutants in the recent past have made a much stronger impact than star studded extravaganzas. And, ‘Raattinam’ definitely falls in the list of impressive films.