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Bakasuran Review: Selvaraghavan's revenge drama is a regressive and crass cringe fest that's best avoided

This problematic film, helmed by Mohan G, reeks of misogyny, patriarchy, moral policing, victim-shaming and more

Bakasuran Review: Selvaraghavan's revenge drama is a regressive and crass cringe fest that's best avoided
Bakasuran poster.
  • P Sangeetha

Last Updated: 03.52 AM, Mar 25, 2023


Story: An aggrieved father goes on a revenge killing-spree to avenge the death of his daughter

Review: In the opening scene of Bakasuran, Selvaraghavan is seen stomping on a man fiercely and later, ripping his legs apart. We have already witnessed Selvaraghavan going on a killing spree in Arun Matheswaran's Saani Kaayidham and his character seems to be an extension of the same. However, the difference here is that the scene doesn't really make you sit up and take notice, unlike in the previous venture. Soon, we learn that Bimarasu (Selvaraghavan) is a 'paradesi', who lives in a Shiva temple. Not much is revealed about his past. All we see is him going on a revenge spree, killing one person after the other, in cold blood. In the process, he also rescues many young women, who are forcibly lured into online prostitution.

In a parallel narrative, ex-serviceman Arul Varman (Nataraja Subramaniam) helps the police solve crimes that are hard to crack. He is also a YouTube influencer who talks about crime stories and not to mention, has a substantial amount of followers. His life takes a different turn when his niece commits suicide, but soon he realises that there's more than what meets the eye. He discovers an online sex racket, and tries to join the dots. How the paths of the two men cross, forms the rest of the story.

The film masquerades as an attempt to throw light on women's safety and the role of technology in it, but it ends up being a problematic and crass cringe-fest. Right from the beginning, Bakasuran gets into moral policing and victim-blaming, and lectures unabashedly on why the 'maanam' of girl children is all that matters in a family. An array of young women waltz in and out of the film, who are all victims of sex rackets. They are either rescued by Bimarasu or they die. But you don't have an ounce of empathy for any of them as none of the characters make an impact.

There are ample odious, patriarchal references, too, packed throughout the film. A woman wearing a sleeveless blouse and short, coloured hair is portrayed as a pimp. When she is about to be killed by Bimarasu, the latter lectures on how she should have begged him for her 'maanam', instead of her life.  In another scene, when Bimarasu's daughter opens up about facing sexual harassment at her college, her grandfather casually remarks that young women these days are indulging in casual sex and abortion, and that Bimarasu should be relieved that his daughter hasn't done much in comparison! Not to forget the lurid skin show in an item song which is nothing but plain acrid! The film even has a disgusting take on two young people exploring their sexuality.

Going by Bakasuran, it looks like the film's director Mohan G wants families to lock up their girl children at home as the moment they step out into the world, they are deemed unsafe. There are free-flowing dialogues about how it's even risky for a young woman to study in another city. And even if they happen to secure a seat in a college not far away from their house, they are still not out of danger as abusers are lurking around every corner of the college, in the form of professors, hostel wardens and security guards, just waiting for their chance to prey on young women. 

Though the film appeals for transparent communication between parents and children (fair point), it makes technology the villain of the story and calls cell phones the 'Bakasuran of today'! It also advises parents to have increased surveillance on their children, especially young women, as you know, they could become sex abuse victims! Privacy can take a walk out of the window! Though the plot largely revolves around online prostitution, Bakasuran doesn't offer any solution to how young women can avoid falling into such traps and cell phones can be put to good use, but ends up vilifying technology for all crimes.

The only saving grace in the film is Selvaraghavan and Natty's performances, who slip into their characters easily.

Verdict: This two-hour long lecture on how young women should live their lives is best avoided!