The film is set in Madurai of the 80’s, and made like a Quentin Tarantino style revenge-and-redemption saga. The background is the bonding between four unemployed poor youths- Azhagar (Jai), Paramar (director Sasikumar), Kasi (Kanja Karuppu) and a handicapped boy living in Subramaniapuram area. They do the odd jobs and strike a rapport with the ex-councilor’ Somu’s brother (Samudrakani), a wheeler –dealer. Azhagar, the romantist falls in love with the Somu’s daughter Thulasi (Swathy).
The Azgar- Thulasi romance creates a fissure in the gang. Meanwhile the councilor’s brother uses them to murder a party rival, promising they will be bailed out. Azhagar to probably impress the family, takes the lead in committing the murder. But nobody comes to bail them out, and the guys realize that they have been used by the political family. Now the gang from sheer admiration for the family turns into a revenge spree, which leads to a gory end.
Granted that there is not much of a story here but it is the slick way the film unfolds that keeps you riveted to your seats. Sasikumar has paid more attention to slick execution, innovative camera movements including top angle and tight close-up. The art director and costume designer has worked hard to give that feel and look of the Madurai of the 80’s.
The buildings, streets, posters, Central theatre screening Rajinikanth’s super hit, old black and white TV’s showing the only channel Doordarshan’s Oliyum Oliyum Ilayaraja music in the background, guys wearing bell bottoms or colourful Shangu mark Lungies and girls still in ‘Dhavani-Pavada’!
The music director James Vasanth also deserves a pat on his back for coming out with some retro music. His use of vocal and rhythms has resulted in some sweet melodies, and his background score heightens the tense atmosphere in the film. At times Vasanth has used just silence to convey the feelings of the characters.
However the film moves at a lethargic speed, too many friendship establishing scenes are forced into the narration. Another draw back is that the film is too bloody and gory. The scene in an auto where the villain’s head is slowly chopped off, like a butcher cutting the head of a goat has also a sound track of an aruvaal cutting the throat!
The actors mostly newcomers are ok, Jai as the romantic killer is the pick of the lot. The handicapped guy, hero’s mother, ex-councilor, temple festival contractor, and Samudrakani as the villain are not only realistic looking but also have made their characters work. Director Sasikumar as Paramar is a bit wooden, while Swathy is refreshing.
Sasikumar should be appreciated for making a bold and daring film, whose success will auger well for the industry. Subramaniapuram may be a bit brooding and dark, but still it’s worth taking a look.
Verdict: Above Average