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BE IT ``Pulan Visaranai'', ``Captain Prabhakaran'' or ``Vallarasu'', Vijayakanth's films have always had an action packed storyline that would hardly sag at any point. Thus it is surprising that this hero of the masses has come out with a product that tries your patience even in the first half.

Guru Films' ``Rajjiyam'' has characters that lack depth and situations that lack verve. Manoj Kumar's screenplay and direction leave much to be desired.

Karthikeyan (Vijayakanth) runs a private intelligence cell and also provides placement services for all those who alight at the Chennai Central station! Inanity thus begins right from the first scene. Just because a young woman acts smart and refuses to divulge the purpose of her visit to the city, Karthikeyan concludes that she is vulnerable and takes her to his house. And the inept screenplay staggers without a hold.

Karthikeyan's mute brother Surya (Dilip) gets caught in a riot and is sent to prison where things go totally out of hand for him. This segment too has its flaws, but Dilip, a new face in Tamil, deserves to be commended for his portrayal. The story takes a bizarre turn here after which all of Vijayakanth's attempts to salvage the rest of the film are in vain. The treatment is pedestrian and the dialogue for the most part, is juvenile.

Shamita Shetty as the wife of the hero has very little to do. In comparison Priyanka Trivedi has some scope to perform. Wreaking vengeance on the villain is her mission. And like all heroines who fail, this one too does and dies in the hands of the bad guy.

`Super' Subbarayan has seen to it that not one fight sequence has even an iota of realism about it. So you have the hero spinning like a top in mid-air (!) at the slightest excuse. It becomes ridiculous after a point.

Bharadwaj has not exerted himself much for ``Rajjiyam'', or so it seems. None of the songs register. A lot of time and energy has gone into the making of ``Rajjiyam'' — the fact is only too clear. Shouldn't such diligence have been shown in the screenplay too? No fan would like to see his hero lose, that too to the villain. When the villain is shown to be more intelligent than the hero, it irks the lay man.

``Rajjiyam'' is bound to be a sore point even for the most ardent Vijayakanth fan.


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