A Chennai-based journalist ends up developing a unique bond with a terrorist in Tunisia through a fake social media account
Trisha in a still from Raangi
Last Updated: 12.10 PM, Dec 30, 2022
Story: A Chennai-based journalist masquerades as her 16-year-old niece and develops a strange bond with a terrorist in Tunisia
Review: It's always refreshing to see powerful women characters kicking up a storm on screen. Trisha does that effortlessly in director M Saravanan's Raangi. She rules the screen from the word go and keeps you glued to the seat until the end as Thaiyal Nayagi (Trisha), a journalist at an online news portal, who has a strong set of beliefs.
Thaiyal Nayagi lives life on her own terms and doesn't have any qualms about taking on powerful goons or unruly policemen to prove her point. One day her brother (also a journalist) approaches her asking for help related to an issue pertaining to his daughter and Thaiyal Nayagi's niece Sushmitha (Anaswara Rajan). As Thaiyal Nayagai digs deeper into the issue, it opens up a can of worms. Soon she encounters a teenager named Aalim, who has been chatting with her niece through her fake social media account. Further scrutiny reveals that Aalim is a terrorist in Tunisia and soon things take a different turn and Thaiyal Nayagi ends up putting her life and her niece's in danger. Will Thaiyal Nayagi be able to save them both?
Raangi's premise is an interesting one, but the film ends up becoming a convoluted mess. Instead of rooting for Thaiyal Nayagi, here we see the protagonist end up empathising with a terrorist and eventually trying to make the audience ally themselves with him as well. Some of the scenes are downright silly, too. For instance, we see the so-called matured journalist Thaiyal Nayagi sharing her complete address with a stranger who is a terrorist at the drop of a hat. There is also a scene where the terrorist is seen casually trying to pay a visit to his ladylove at her school in Chennai! How did he slip under the radar so easily? And, later, we see the FBI using Thaiyal Nayagi and Sushmitha as bait to catch the same terrorist! Not to mention, they themselves behave like blood-thirsty gangsters.
This apart, Thaiyal Nayagi's character, too is full of contradictions. She doles out many dialogues on women power and feminism, but some of the scenes do not add up and makes it all the more contrary to what she stands for. For instance, there is a scene where Thaiyal Nayagi orders her 16-year-old niece to strip naked without her consent. This was a predicament that could have been discussed over a heart-to-heart conversation. Throughout the film, the teenager remains unaware of all the misadventures happening in her name. In yet another scene, when Sushmitha's classmate talks about her body image issues and 'how no one pays attention to her because of her looks', Thaiyal Nayagi asks her to sort of make it up by studying well and earning a lot of money. She tells her that today, one can change their face itself if they have the moolah!
And once Thaiyal Nayagi reaches Tunisia, she takes on terrorists as if it's a child's play (when did journalists get trained to battle terrorists) and the scenes don't come across as very convincing. Raveena Ravi's voice, too, sticks out like a sore thumb, and it takes a while to connect the voice with Trisha.
While the first part makes for a not-so-boring watch, the film begins to lag post interval, especially during the interrogation and some parts in Tunisia. Many scenes taking place in the northernmost African country are blurred.
The cinematography by KA Sakthivel deserves a special mention! The shots look aesthetic and some of the frames in the film are a visual treat. Sathya C's music, too, complements the film. Raangi has a handful of shortcomings, but nevertheless, it makes for a one-time watch, that too, for Trisha.
Verdict: Watch it only for Trisha's performance