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Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum movie review: Derailed by saccharine storytelling

Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum | Director: Arisil Moorthy

Cast: Ramya Pandian, Vani Bhojan, Mithun Manickam, Kodangi Vadivel Murugan

Run-time: 1 hour 52 minutes | Language: Tamil | Rating: 2.5

The emotional core of Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum keeps shifting. In the first hour, it is entirely dedicated to the radical love of Kunnimuthu (Mithun Manickam) and Veerayi (Ramya Pandian) towards their bulls who are missing — Karuppan and Vellaiyan, one black, one white, gifted to them on their wedding day. I say radical, because they not only treat the bulls like their sons, but they insist that others do it too, like going to the police station to report a missing complaint and saying, without clarifying initially, that their two sons are missing. The couple are married for four years, and any talk of impending childbirth is hushed by them. Can’t you see we already have two kids? they insist.

But then, the second hour swerves into a macro perspective — the broader systemic issues facing the Poocheri village, the corruption, the impending public works, and the indifference of the very people affected by the corruption. The media gets involved, politicians come and go, and promises are flirted with and left unfulfilled. Suddenly, the bulls become a backstory, only to then hastily be brought back to the narrative foreground at the very end. It’s too messy, this see-sawing of perspective, because the transition from one to the other is entirely done by a random string of events, by filmic coincidence that is not just hard to believe, but hard to even fathom.

Produced by Jyothika and Suriya’s 2D Entertainment, written and directed by Arisil Moorthy, Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is the first major release from 2D’s Amazon OTT slate announced this year. It has two distinct halves with two distinct problems — the first half is too saccharine, and the second half is too simplistic. The common thread is the overenthusiastic score that forcibly sets the tone for most scenes, because a moment of comedy here can sometimes feel like a tragedy, and so as viewers we need to be clued in — if we should smile or simmer. Take the scene at the election rally, where even before the speech begins we get a nudging thrum of humour in the background to let us know, something funny will happen. But then something awful happens, and the background score clues us in again, before the pathos unfolds. A tonal mishmash buoyed by the sincerity of Mithun Manickam and Ramya Pandian’s performances. Their chemistry has that lived-in quality that is yet untouched by boredom. She is striking and clear headed. He is meek and well-meaning. She berates him for drinking alcohol. He asks to be forgiven. They hold onto one another. (This sincerity feels at odds with the title itself, a don’t-care shrug whether Rama or Ravana is the god, harvested from the Mullum Malarum, 1978 song lyric.)

We also have side characters who stand-in for issues, as opposed to feelings. There is a young girl who cannot go to school and her scant dialogue milks that oppression to a sympathetic score. There is an old man who is digging a pond so when it rains, the water can be stored for future use. He complains that the world is too fast, ‘avasaru ulagam’, and his slow digging is perhaps the only thing that could save the village from future drought.

There is thorough moralising taking place through the film. It even begins with a voice-over insisting that we have forgotten the village life, and thus ushers in the film, promising to take us back to where it all began. There are songs of the soil being poisoned by pesticides, of politics as a leech, and of the city as something similar. Unable to conjure rousing moments to deliver this message, such moments feel like a flapping appendage to the central movie, entirely dismissable.

Narmada (Vani Bhojan), the journalist, becomes the fulcral figure around whom the movie pivots from micro to macro, and she brings with her the radical coincidence that buoys the film from micro to macro. She too possesses this odd, steadfast sincerity against the opaque decision making of her news channel. It is perhaps this sincerity that keeps the film from completely collapsing at its almost two hour run-time. For who can resist kind moments of love?

Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Watch the trailer here:

The post Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum movie review: Derailed by saccharine storytelling appeared first on NEWS9 LIVE.

Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum | Director: Arisil Moorthy

Cast: Ramya Pandian, Vani Bhojan, Mithun Manickam, Kodangi Vadivel Murugan

Run-time: 1 hour 52 minutes | Language: Tamil | Rating: 2.5

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: News9 Live
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