True to his reputation, Ramu has produced another big budget film which is not only well made, but has some breathtaking action sequences not been seen before in Kannada cinema. Director Sadhu Kokila, himself a popular actor and music director of the Kannada industry, proves that the success of his debut film Raktha Kanneeru was not a flash in the pan.
Though Raakshasa has a controversial title, meaning 'Demon', it seems justified in the context of the hero's characterisation as a workaholic police officer without any sympathy for hardened criminals. Raakshasa is also a collage of many real-life criminal incidents that had occurred in Karnataka, and this factor may just increase the film's appeal.
Ramu has produced the best Kannada action films, and his new film is miles ahead of all his previous work in terms of its stunning action sequences and huge mount. The film opens with a brilliant helicopter clash sequence which keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. The entire first half is so fast paced that you will not even have time to think about the plot.
The second half of the film has more songs and some emotional sequences. Though the second half is not as fast paced as the first, the film stands out compared to other recent Kannada films. The climax sequence looks a little lengthy and stretched, though.
Raakshasa is the story of Harish Chandra, a dynamic assistant commissioner of police who spares no effort to eliminate dreaded criminals. His encounters with the most hardened criminals inevitably end with their violent death. He is always picked for the dangerous assignments, but comes out victorious.
His latest assignment is to take on dreaded terrorist Shabir, who controls all the underworld activities in the country and Dubai. In one of the encounters, Harish kills Shabir's brother and his associates. An enraged Shabir kills Harish's wife and son when the family is on a weekend trip to an amusement park. Harish is also shot by Shabir, but he manages to survive. A vengeful Harish now wants to take Shabir head on, but is prevented by the police department. He then heads the squad created by the department to capture or eliminate Shabir.
Shivaraj Kumar is a treat to watch in the role of a dynamic cop, and his mannerisms and body language are perfect. Though the heroines don't have much of an opportunity to prove their talent, Amrutha manages to do a better job. Rangayana Raghu as the corrupt cop is excellent. The film belongs, however, to newcomer Kishor, who has done wonderfully in the role of Shabir.
Director Sadhu Kokila has failed as a music director. None of the songs come across as impressive, though two songs are well shot. Krishna Kumar has once again proved that he is the best cameraman in the industry. The other technical values are also top class.
Raakshasa was a hugely expected film, and does not belie the expectations. Kannada film fans will certainly find it exceptional.