We have seen Vikram Prabhu in a deglamorised role in Kumki, here he is a middle class youngster in Citizen (that’s been dubbed from Ivan Vera Mathiri). The film comes from the man who made the taut and gripping Engeyum Eppudhum (Journey in Telugu). Vikram Prabhu has attractive eyes, however he needs to be a bit more flexible in his expressions. A few more films and he might come up trumps. In this story, the protagonist Gunashekaran (Vikram Prabhu) plays a socially responsible youth who takes law into his own hands when the criminal brother Eeshwar (Vamsi Krishna) of a law minister is out on parole. Guna is disturbed at the turn of events and has him kidnapped, tied and confined to a secluded tiny, dingy rest room under construction in one corner of the city. His agenda is to have the law minister arrested for parole violation and aiding a criminal escape.

Eeswar comes out of captivity after a week and is thirsting for his captor’s blood, but he doesn’t know Guna’s identity, rest of the film is about how he locks horns with this conscientious man. There is no separate comedy track, the developing of romance is portrayed in an entertaining manner. A park, perhaps a market place or a bus stop is no more a meeting ground for the hero and the heroine in South Indian cinema. In umpteen films, we have seen the heroine walk in unabashedly into the men’s toilet area and hold a nonchalant discussion unmindful of the rest of the people. Here too the hero is relieving himself on a pavement and the girl shoos him away with her gesture only to find him ringing her door bell the next moment and briskly walking into her house for a rest room. The next few scenes for both of them are set in a crowded bus from where Cupid takes over.

There is no extra baggage in the film, it is weaved into three simple parts — the law minister and his brother falling into a problem, some inanities involving the lead pair and a kidnap and finally the denouement. One repulsive moment in the film is the villain kicking the heroine’s face and stomach; yet Vamsi Krishna who stands out with a consistent angry expression. The director has to be lauded for not meandering or being lured by other commercial elements that are usually incorporated in a film. The songs are also very simple that mostly include montage shots.

Debutante Surbhi looks good and does a decent job, the cinematography elevates the climax scenes and editor Sreekar Prasad keeps the line and length to tolerable levels. Citizen is an engaging and a refreshing film where the hero doesn’t scream from the rooftops and get into larger than life stunts to prove his worth. He is neither a cop nor an employee but just a youth looking for a job and reacts to atrocities in society in his own manner. There are certain minuses to the film like the romantic track that gets repetitive and no one raising an alarm at the sudden death of a watchman, but the script itself is strong enough to make us overlook such loop holes. A good watch this one.

CITIZEN

Cast: Vikram Prabhu, Surabhi

Direction: M. Saravanan

Music: C. Satya

Plot: A common man’s fight against a politician’s atrocity

Bottomline: A vigilante takes law into his hands and faces the music

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