Raattinam is a film that succeeds in surprising you on more occasions than just one — the biggest surprise coming right at the end, in the form of the climax. To be fair to director K. S. Thangasamy, his story may appear clichéd, but the message he communicates through his film is relatively fresh and one that makes sense.

Jayam (Laguparan), the younger brother of a small-time politician-cum-businessman Ashok (K. S. Thangasamy), ends up falling in love with Dhanam (Swathi), a school-going girl who is not only the daughter of a high-ranking official at the Port in Tuticorin but also the niece of the Public Prosecutor.

As expected, the elders in both the families don't take kindly to the youngsters' love for each other. A stern warning is issued to Ashok through his party top brass, who ask him to keep his brother in check. Ashok agrees, but also makes it clear that no harm should befall his brother. The youngsters, however, are in no mood to relent and after a series of embarrassing situations, elope. Tempers flare up, leading to the murder of Ashok. Jayam and Dhanam, by now married, return on learning about Ashok's death. They are separated, the marriage being declared invalid as the girl is a minor. What follows is what gives the film an edge. Director Thangasamy, who has all along been making the audience take the side of the young couple, in a swift move makes them see the wisdom in the argument of the other side. He ends the film on a realistic note without resorting to exaggeration of any sort.

The movie has quite a few strengths, including the music of Manu Ramesan. Three songs make the cut, with ‘Asathum Azhagu' clearly occupying the top slot.

By and large, cameraman P. Raj Sundar scores with his visuals of Tuticorin, making one wonder why filmmakers choose to go abroad when they have such beautiful places within the country. However, the excessive lighting at certain places could have been avoided.

Laguparan as the hero makes quite an impression. Playing his role with conviction, he appears comfortable romancing and dancing. However, the same cannot be said of heroine Swathi, who has a long way to go when it comes to emoting.

On the whole, director Thangasamy seems to have marshalled his troops reasonably well to give audiences a film that is bound to interest them.

Raattinam

Genre: Drama

Director: K. S. Thangasamy

Cast: Laguparan, Swathi, K. S. Thangasamy, Ajay, Tarun, Elizabeth

Storyline: A romantic film with a realistic ending

Bottomline: Worth a watch

Keywords: RaattinamKollywood

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Tamil Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011