What starts off as an intriguing tale set in a rural backdrop loses steam halfway, thanks to the done-to-death sequences which are meant to evoke social consciousness. But the performances of lead actors hold our interest till the end
A poster of the film
Story: Kunnimuthu, a young farmer, approaches police station to file a complaint on the disappearance of two of his missing bulls. But to his surprise and shock, a cop refrains from filing a complaint and asks him to leave the station, and warns him not to come up with such trivial cases. Will he be able to find the bulls?
Review: The trailer of Arisil Moorthy's Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum had given a glimpse of what the film's story is about. Set against Poocheri village, which lacks basic facilities and adequate rainfall, the film revolves around Kunnimuthu (Mithun Manickam), a farmer in his mid 30s, whose life revolves around his wife Veerayi (Ramya Pandian) and his grandmother.
But if there's something for which Kunnimuthu would happily sacrifice his life to, it is his beloved bulls - Vellaiyan and Karuppan. The two bulls were gifted to him as dowry during his marriage four years ago, and he loves spending time with them. Veerayi, too, is fond of the animals, and takes care of them along with her husband.
One day, Muthu finds that his bulls are missing and seeks help from the nearby police station. However, the cops who are busy finding the missing puppy of the MLA, insults him and threatens to take strict action if he dares to come up with such insignificant complaints. A depressed Muthu is then accompanied by his friend Manthini (Vadivel) in the lookout for his bulls. They end up inviting troubles during their search for Vellaiyan and Karuppan. After facing dead end, they even resort to betel leaf astrology, but in vain.
Meanwhile, Narmada (Vani Bhojan), a journalist from Chennai, reaches the village after an event organized by a minister there courts controversy. Muthu and Manthini, who meet her in a difficult circumstance, narrate their sorrowful story. Soon, Narmada finds that there is a connection between the minister's ceremony and the disappearance of bulls. Muthu's problem becomes a sensational news in no time, thanks to her detailed news coverage. The village also gets attention of city people because of its poor infrastructure. Will Kunnimuthu find his bulls?
Despite being a wafer-thin plot, the film has enough scope for drama and emotional sequences, and the director succeeds in making the audience root for the characters to a good extent. The bonding between Muthu and bulls, around which the story is woven, has been interestingly developed. Mithun Manickam aces the protagonist's role with ease, thanks to the innocence and sincerity he has infused to the character with his body language. His performance in a bank where he goes to get a loan sanctioned is to watch out for. Vadivel, who played Muthu's aide, lights up some of the sequences with his one-liners.
Ramya, in the role of a girl-next-door character, comes up with a notable performance and succeeds in bringing a different dimension to her character when compared to the village girl's role she has essayed earlier. Vani Bhojan and others are okayish in their roles and deliver what has been written for them.
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is a well-intentioned film which has its heart at the right place. For the umpteenth time, a Tamil movie has highlighted the varied struggles of farmers. But this movie has more than that. It takes a dig at corrupt politicians, freebie culture, Hindi imposition, the prevailing corporate dominance in the country, and so on. Arisil Moorthy has tried to infuse his ideologies and observations into the plot, which works only to an extent. The proceedings become a tad slow after a point, and the lack of effective emotional sequences in the latter half affect the overall flow of the story.
The corporates are out to get you! - A life lesson by Manthinni.— 2D Entertainment (@2D_ENTPVTLTD) September 22, 2021
Watch #RARAOnPrime, Sept 24. @PrimeVideoIN
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The movie also suffers from a predictable third act. The scenes involving politicians and depiction of farmers' issues lack novelty and give us a feeling of déjà vu. But the performances of artists hold our interest till the end. The director ensures that we empathize with Kunnimuthu for all the sufferings he go through. Sukumar's cinematography and Krishh's music, too, deserve mention for engaging he viewers.
Verdict: What starts off as an intriguing tale set in a rural backdrop loses steam halfway, but the sincerity in the plot and performances of the actors keep the viewers hooked to it. The sequences which are meant to evoke social consciousness are done-to-death, though.
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.