Take a bow Vetrimaran, Visaranai, in one word, is just brilliant.
The film is hard hitting, dark, gritty and riveting. It is a realistic take on police brutalities inside a cop house and how the enforcers of law torture innocent people to extract confessional statements. The director throws light on how police investigation and charge sheets are made and how the system works.
Visaaranai is an adaptation of a real life incident based on autorikshaw driver turned writer Chandrakumar’s book Lock Up. The writer had spent 13 days in police custody and was tortured to admit to a crime he had not committed. The director along with Chandran has come out with a very provocative film which is meaningful, at a time when courts are exposing a lot of cooked up police evidences.
The director Vetrimaran has set the story revolving around three principal characters. The first half of the film is set in Guntur in Andhra, where a lot of Tamilians work. Pandi (Dinesh) works in a provision stores and is falsely implicated along with his friends in a robbery case by the local Andhra Police. The cops are under pressure from their higher up’s as the robbery took place in a politically influential person’s house.
Enter Muthuvel (Samuthirakani) a Tamil Nadu policeman in search of an accountant KK (Kishore) of corrupt politicians and businessman who specialises in black money laundering. Fate intervenes as the life of three characters entangles leading to a nail biting climax with its twists and turns. The ending is a stunning reminder that the corrupt system prevails above everything else and there are no winners or losers.
The film succeeds due to razor sharp writing and linear screenplay aided by terrific performances by its lead actors. One of the major highlights is that actors have been aptly cast. Dinesh’s normal mannerisms fit in with the character. Samuthirakani as the reluctant cop is fantastic especially in the police station scene with his higher –up’s . Kishore has come out with a stunning performance as the corrupt auditor, who gets the biggest surprise of his life when the tables turn. Anandi the only female in the film as a domestic help is good in her scenes with Dinesh.
Technically the film is slick. The cameraman Ramalingam using only natural light and his colour tone makes the film visually stunning. Editor Kishore’s (he passed away recently), cuts make the film under two hours racy. GV Prakash’s background score lifts the film to a new height. Another major plus is the production design of the film, especially the Andhra police station and the row of toilets for prisoners and the marshland inside a housing colony in Chennai where the climax is set.
Vetrimaran has made it as realistic as possible with police torture scenes looking disturbing. But the director himself has made it clear that the film is not for the weak hearted and carries a UA certificate for violence and profanities (muted in India theatrical version).
Hats off to Vetrimaran who has preferred to take the road less traveled and taken Tamil cinema to a new level with Visaranai.