Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hour 14 minutes
Censor Rating : U
Raatchasi (aka) Raatchasii review
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Production: Dream Warrior Pictures
Cast: Hareesh Peradi, Jyothika
Direction: Sy. Gowthamraj
Screenplay: Sy. Gowthamraj
Story: Sy. Gowthamraj
Music: Sean Roldan
Cinematography: Gokul Benoy
Editing: Philominraj

Before the opening credits of Sy. Gowthaman Raj's 'Raatchasi' rolls, there is a small sequence where a lorry barges into a Government school, and a few henchmen force the students to get into the vehicle. A teacher from the school voices against this and is slapped thrice before the lorry zooms off. The camera zooms to his face. One look at his reaction and you can already hear the dialogue - "Ungala yellam thatti ketka oruthan (Oruthi, in this case) varuvan!" No points for guessing who the 'Oruthi' is.

Jyotika plays the role of Geetha Rani, the newly-appointed headmistress of the government school in A. Puthur. One of the interesting points to note is that she is mostly addressed as Head Master. And throughout the film, she does everything that a male hero does in a template commercial movie. She fights henchmen all alone, preaches social messages and she is the sole saviour of a whole school who also transforms an entire village.

But the way the director has handled the story is not very impressive. The screenplay lacks spice, because of which you don't quite get the feeling that you're supposed to. Few scenes bear resemblance to similarly themed dramas where the protagonist starts churning out one social message after another. The problem here is that the messages are strewn across and they are plenty in number. The preachy nature of the film glaringly reveals the shortcoming in filmmaking. Sometimes, things are so straight on your face that after Jyotika shows her anger towards injustice, you see graphics of Amman behind her. In another scene, she does something good to a student and you see the graphics of a halo above her and wings behind her to denote that she is an angel.

The staging could have been better and more often than not, you see the camera cutting to the faces of the characters when they speak dialogues, which is what happens in almost 90% of the film. There is no sense of movement or no specific high point that makes us invest in a particular moment. For Eg. there is a scene where a student, who is low on confidence is taking part in an elocution competition. He starts off by asking everyone to not listen to him because he's going to converse with nature. While we look forward to seeing what happens next, the immediate scene shows him winning the prize, which could have been presented with more impact.

Jyotika's performance is clean throughout and the clarity she brings to screen is impeccable. She steals the show with good dialogue delivery and body language. Poornima Bhagyaraj and Sathyan, both have delivered good performances. Poornima who is quiet throughout the film has scored well in the climax, whereas Sathyan delivers the lighter moments with his body language and comedy. The Dialogues deserves a special mention, a few of them are sharp and questions with a lot of depth.

The events happening in the film are haphazard that it starts affecting the other aspects of filmmaking like the music. Sean Roldan has delivered an album comprising of beautiful songs. There is a proper mix of music that's slightly arthouse-ish, and music that's commercial in nature. But it feels like listening to bursts of good music cut off midway because of the nature of scenes changing quickly.

At one moment, the students in the school are fighting in the name of caste. They have a thread tied to their hands to differentiate between the castes. Geetha removes the threads and burns them, which enrages the villagers. This is the interval block of the film, that sets you up for something. But, the very next scene, she gives a short speech to the villagers and the issue is solved. If only it was so simple to abolish something as deep-rooted as caste.

Of course, Raatchasi isn't as preachy as it sounds. There are good moments that genuinely make you smile. A second-grade kid named Kathir draws a rough sketch of Geetha Rani and presents it to her. Such pearl like moments are very few in number and they don't sustain for a long time. The film could have been way better if the story was treated well and the screenplay was more engaging.


Verdict: Raatchasi is watchable for the numerous social messages and Jyotika's performance!


2.5 2.5
( 2.5 / 5.0 )




Raatchasi (aka) Raatchasii

Raatchasi (aka) Raatchasii is a Tamil movie. Hareesh Peradi, Jyothika are part of the cast of Raatchasi (aka) Raatchasii. The movie is directed by Sy. Gowthamraj. Music is by Sean Roldan. Production by Dream Warrior Pictures, cinematography by Gokul Benoy, editing by Philominraj.