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Raghavan - Review

 
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Monday, September 03, 2007

A typical investigative police story

Director Gautham Vasudeva Menon, popular as Gautham, is an expert in moulding police subjects. The Telugu audiences had tasted his directorial abilities through 'Gharshana' with Victory Venkatesh as hero. Gautham had brought several police stories, with many top stars in Tamil and Malayalam and this time he had directed a film with Padma Shri, Kamal Hassan for a Tamil film called Vettiyadu Velayadu. In fact, it is a typical investigative drama. Though there are action scenes they were quite stylish and the hero remains to be an encounter specialist. Another interesting feature is that over 90 per cent of the film was shot in New York. With the craze on Kamal Hassan and also on Gautham among the Telugu audiences, KVV Satyanarayana and Sakhamuri Panduranga Rao thought of remaking the film in Telugu and in view of the difficulties in obtaining permission from the authorities abroad and the financial difficulties, they had decided to dub the film and the film was released in Telugu on the name of the hero Raghavan.

Raghavan (Kamal Hassan) is a sincere deputy commissioner of police in Hyderabad. Anand Raj (Prakashraj) was his best friend and is a senior. Raghavan falls in love with Meenakshi (Kamalini) and some local goons kill her due to professional rivalry. Raghavan takes revenge with the help of Anand Raj. After some time, Anand Raj seeks Raghavan's assistance after his daughter Rani goes missing. Raghavan investigates and finds that she was murdered. Later, Anand Raj and his wife leave for New York. On information that both of them were executed in the US, the local police send Raghavan to collect their bodies as he is the only well-wisher. Raghavan suspects that there is something behind the elimination of the entire family. After reaching New York Raghavan finds similar murders occurred there as well and continues his investigation there with the help of a detective there. Raghavan helps in finding the bodies of the victims. With the help of FBI Raghavan continues the investigation and finds 10 names as suspected persons. Finally, he realises two persons who could be the killers and their names are Aditya and Sankar. They are friends and bore grudge against Anand Raj's family in a ragging case. The two, who were medicos by profession, turn psychopaths and used to rape and kill the victims. Meanwhile, Raghavan comes across a girl called Aradhana (Jyothika) who was a divorcee and falls in love with her. When Raghavan and the detective raid the house of the suspected, they attack both of them and kill the detective. Thinking that Raghavan would die, Sankar confesses how they started the serial killings and the reason behind their turning psychopaths. Raghavan somehow regains his life, despite severe injuries inflicted by Adi and Sankar. Fearing that the police would catch them, they both return to India and Raghavan also returns to India. After Aradhana meets Raghavan to reveal her love towards him, the killers kidnap her. In the climax Raghavan eliminates both the killers and saves Aradhana. The film ends on a happy note with the union of Aradhana and Raghavan.

The film is technically superior, the edges are pared down to give a steely, glassy and yankee feel. The lighting is moody and menacing in turns, just the backdrop for an urban thriller. Another major plus point of the film is the superb editing. Editor Antony made the film quite interesting in easy and effective links. Gautham's directorial abilities in exploring New York is amazing. The film is slick and shiny all through with all the pauses and poise that such a script requires. There is no need for a special mention about Kamal Hassan's acting capability. He brings a sharp idiom to the role of a DCP who has to hunt to some faceless killers. Another highlight in the film is the camera work by Ravi Varman. He gave a different flavour and feel to the movie. The angles too are novel and keep you interested all through.

Though the killing of the first heroine did not serve any purpose, the director unnecessarily kept Kamalini as the first heroine, only to establish the friendship between Prakash Raj and Kamal. The entire first half runs with a kind of typical detective subject, in the second half, the director lost grip after the interval only to regain before the climax, for about 20 minutes. But for the boring 20 minutes the film is okay to watch.

Though Kamalini, Prakashraj had very limited screen presence, they did complete justice to their roles. Though Jyothika had a little more footage, the director failed to extract much performance from her. However, the movement of the story is quite novel and in a 'Bond' kind of investigative film. The action scenes are quite stylish. Despite, the recent bomb blasts, a good amount of people could be witnessed at theatres.

Cast:
Kamal Hassan, Kamalini Mukherjee, Jyothika, Prakash Raj, Ahuti Prasad and others.

Credits:
Dialogues – Dasarath, Camera – Ravi Varman, Editing – Antony, Action – Stun Siva, Lyrics – Veturi and Vennelakanti, Music – Harris Jayaraj, Presenter – Manikyam Narayanan, Producers – Sakhamuri Panduranga Rao and KVV Satyanarayana, Story, screenplay and direction – Gautham Vasudeva Menon
Banner: Seventh Channel Communications
Released on: August 31, 2007

Topics: telugu movie, review, raghava lawrence

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