The much-expected Easan (U/A) is here and Sasikumar's yen for on-screen gore comes to the fore yet again. But the intelligence with which he has woven the line makes the accompanying gruesomeness excusable.

Not that the genre is anything new — it's the same old revenge drama. However, the interesting feature is, Easan isn't a story of the regular, infallible hero, who takes on the corrupt lot. The character of Easan is the ace up Sasikumar's sleeve that helps rev up matters later on. Like Shatriyan, which had Vijayakanth taking on Thilakan, and other films that have well-handled police-politician themes, Easan has an interesting plot. Only that the narration slows down at points.

Length (almost three hours) is a negating aspect. (Even Subramaniapuram was 20-odd minutes less.) The coffee shops, pubs and psychedelic lights get tiring after a point. It's more as if Sasikumar wishes to prove that he's adept at showcasing the cityscape as authentically as he did the towns earlier. The effort appears contrived. Also certain sequences involving the minister and his atrocities seem redundant.

You understand the maker's penchant for the rural — but why the unwarranted animus towards the city and its dwellers? None in Chennai is friendly or cheerful — it's the prerogative of only the people in towns, says Easan! And college goers and young professionals in the metro seem to gambol around all through the night — morals mean nothing to them. Such generalisation irks.

As the assistant police commissioner, Samudirakani looks smart. And as the helpless official who suffers the evils of the system and still manages to instil fear in erring politicians and evoke respect among his subordinates, he is spontaneous. Once he is given charge of the case of the minister's missing son, the film moves at breakneck speed towards an action-packed climax. At this juncture, the screenplay and performances of the actors offer invaluable support. Editor A. L. Ramesh makes a mark with his deft scissoring in the latter part of the film. Plaudits to Sasikumar for the apt casting! Beginning with Samudirakani, be it Vaibhav, producers Kaja Mohideen and Azhagappan, Abhinaya (whose eyes convey much more than words) or that adolescent Dushyanth, each of them delivers. Azhagappan in particular is a complete natural. Remember Thulasi who played Kamal Haasan's young sis in Sakalakalavalavan and Rajnikanth's daughter in Nallavanukku Nallavan? She emerges after a long hiatus to play Vaibhav's mother in Easan!

‘Kannil Anbai' is a melodic piece, courtesy James Vasanthan.

Sasikumar and Samudirakani keep alternating roles — when one acts the other wields the megaphone, and vice versa. The duo seems to share a terrific rapport, and after Subramaniapuram and Nadodigal, the director and the directed once again prove that they are a capable twosome. Easan bears testimony to it.

Easan

Genre: Action

Director: M. Sasikumar

Cast: Samudirakani, Vaibhav, A.L. Azhagappan, Abhinaya

Storyline: A minister's atrocities and the price he pays

Bottomline: The subject isn't new; the telling of it is