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Ramchandra is aimed at the front benches
January 17, 2003 19:18 IST
Back in 1993, veteran actor Satyaraj came up trumps with the Tamil film Walter Vetrivel. Though it must be added that a sizzling Prabhu Deva dance sequence went a long way towards making the film a superhit.
Ten years later, in 2003, Satyaraj attempts an encore with Ramachandra. Like Walter Vetrivel, Captain Prabakaran and Ithuthanda Police (all police stories), Ramachandra too is the story of a honest cop.
The initial portions of the film with clichéd scenes conveying the cop's character are boring. But as the storyline develops (it is hard to avoid the feeling that it borrows somewhat heavily from the Hindi film Shool), the film picks up momentum.
Straightforward cop RC is harassed by the powers that be. His wife is killed; his child lynched to death. Finally, the cop takes the law into his own hands and kills the villains.
The film is loud, its scenes, dialogues and action obviously aimed at the front benches. The court scene where Satyaraj ridicules the judiciary for not taking police witnesses into account; the scene when he slaps actor Sriman for abusing the police uniform and the couple of scenes wherein the director glorifies the police force, all provoke a sense of déjà vu.
It also gives the feeling of being hastily assembled, giving rise to glaring mistakes. For instance, the film opens with the killing of a character (Raj Kapoor) who is, we are told, an MP. Towards the end of the film, the director appears to have forgotten how he started and has the same character, in flashback, shown as a local goonda whose task is to help the villain in chief (Ashish Vidyarthi) win an assembly election.
Vidyarthi, mind you, is shown as an Independent candidate, independence being a crucial point in the storyline. But in the climax, it is forgotten and he is shot dead during a general council meeting of the ruling party.
All this adds to the irony because Raj Kapoor is the film's director.
Inconsistencies are married, at times, to logical flaws big enough to drive a screenplay through. For instance, in the climax, a cop (Livingstone) appears in court to testify that a certain character, a doctor who is a key component of the case, does not in fact exist.
An instant later, in the course of questioning, he informs the court that he has taken charge as inspector only that day. Which begs the question: if he wasn't a cop till that day, why was he hunting for the doctor in the first place?
Cinematography is so-so; the music is as loud as the film requires it to be; the action sequences are way below par and the leading lady Jayalakshmi has nothing to do.
All said and done, this film is aimed purely at the B and C categories.