When everyone were expecting Vetrimaran to start shooting Vadachennai - part 2, he surprised us with the launch of Asuran, again with Dhanush. Interestingly, Dhanush was paired with Manju Warrior, which increased the curiosity. The film is based on Poomani’s novel Vekkai which was published some 35 years ago. Is Asuran any different from the previous films of the director? Will the story be relevant for today’s audience? Read Asuran movie review below to know more!
Asuran Movie Review (Spoiler Alert)
The film starts off with a scene where Sivasami (Dhanush) is on the run with his son Chidambaram (Ken Karunas). His wife Pachaiyamma (Manju Warrior) is also on the run with their younger daughter with the help of her brother (played by Pasupathy). We are then taken in to the flashback portions. Sivasami is a small time farmer from the lower caste who lives with his family in the land which is in the name of his wife. He refuses to part with the land to build a cement factory, which is the mastermind of a greedy rich (upper caste) person named Narasimhan (Adukalam Naresh). Tension prevails between both parties and in one altercation, Murugan (Sivasami’s elder son, played by Teejay) humiliates Narasimhan, which he retaliates by murdering him.
This destroys the peace in the family and Sivasami is torn between the safety of his family and the need to avenge the perpetrators. He takes help of a lawyer cum activist (Prakash Raj) to strike a deal with Narasimhan’s family through the Panchayat. In the second half, the director dwells upon Sivasami’s younger days as well, which is strewn with caste issues and related insurgence. What happens to them finally is told in a typical Vetrimaran style with gory action blocks and some thrilling sequences.
Dhanush and Manju Warrior are stunning in the film. Its difficult to portray a fourty-five plus character with the physique Dhanush has. But he does it comfortably with his expressions, body language and performance. The chemistry between him and his sons work well. Manju Warrior has got a meaty role and she makes best use of it. She gives a performance on par with Dhanush, but you may wonder if she was an apt choice for the role. Both Ken and Teejay are good find and do their parts well.
GV Prakash’s songs and BGM support the thrilling narration and the mass action sequences very well. Cinematography by Velraj is very good, especially the night shots. The village we are shown is not the green and colourful ones we see in Pandiraj films. The very earthy shade of the film gives that disturbing caste-issue effect to the entire surroundings and the related proceedings. The stunts are choreographed well (Peter Hein) but was little exaggerated in the climax.
On the negatives, there are some gory scenes and action sequences which may not go well with some section of the audience. But it’s very crucial to the narration and infact true in reality. There was no continuation in the looks of younger Dhanush character, his moustache was all over the place. Looks like Manju Warrior dubbed herself for the film, it does have a Malayalam slang and takes away the nativity in some scenes. At one point, we forget the film unfolds in the 80’s. Though we are shown few old movie posters and big collared shirts, there is very little evidence in the narration to connect us with the period.
Is this a new storyline? No. Vetrimaran picks a subject which has been used in several films earlier but presents the same in his own style. The good point is that the message related to the caste issues is conveyed and conveyed very strongly. But on the other end, the fact that only violence is a solution for this is also blatantly exposed. Though we see Sivasami advising his son in the end that, education is the only weapon which you can keep for yourself and use to eradicate such issues.
Ironically, we all know that education has done nothing to change the situation in our country even today. The scene in the film where the slipper has been used to convey the caste sentimentality relates to 80’s. But the same happens even today in several parts of our country and people are killed mercilessly for such ridiculously silly issues. Asuran does make you think about such horrendous people, their acts and thoughts and how it has got infested in our society, dividing the rich and the poor further.
Overall, Asuran is a typical Vetrimaran film with intense action and a gritty narration supported by superb performance from the lead actors. While the film does not have any new storyline, the director effectively convey the caste angle which is very relevant even today.
Rating – 3.25/5