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"Bheeshmar"... where Ranjith scores as a performer.

IN THE past Ranjith has proved his capability in cameo roles — his moving performance in "Pandavar Bhoomi" is an example. But in Maverick Entertainment's "Bheeshmar," his home production from wife Priya Raman, he is the hero and the auteur. Also he has written the story, dialogue and screenplay — undoubtedly a tremendous onus. In the area of dialogue, he scores. As a hero he fills the bill. It is in the other departments that he is found wanting.

The story, to begin with, of an upright police officer, has villains one has come across in ever so many such films and a completely corrupt system. If the hero plans to rise and redress the malady, he ought to know the power of the enemy and tackle them prudently. But prudence is what Bheeshmar lacks. An angry hero without an iota of intelligence can never have wholesome appeal. It is sad that Ranjith, the storywriter did not realise it. Bheeshmar's reckless anger drives his wife to death and his family to penury. And in the end you are left with the pessimistic viewpoint and a depressing scenario that there is no hope for the righteous, no redemption for the suffering.

Bheeshmar (Ranjith), an inspector of police, comes to Chennai with wife Gowri (Devyani) and child, on transfer. The vandalism and atrocities of his colleagues and higher-ups fill him with wrath and he takes up the cudgels for the poor and the affected lot. It lands him in prison with serious false cases foisted against him. After a great struggle he does come out, but his ire is still intact. The incarceration does not make him wise in any way, till of course the end when he walks towards the setting sun with the child in his arms in "Pudhiya Padhai" Parthiban style. In fact most of the scenes in "Bheeshmar" present a feeling of déjà vu.

Subtlety is evident in the scene when he hints to the vendors at the market place that they can take law into their hands and teach the harassing policeman a lesson. They beat up constable Dandapani (Vasu Vikram) black and blue but next you see him at the police station, neither taking action against them nor even referring to the incident! It is as though he suddenly turns harmless! And the Assistant Commissioner being chased by Bheeshmar on the roads of Chennai is another ludicrous scene.

The sincerity that comes across in Ranjith's portrayal has to be appreciated. His stern reaction to the wife's untimely overtures and his earnest appeal to her in court are a couple of examples. Though the melodrama is stifling at times, the genuine effort has to be commended. Devyani's character is not very clearly etched initially. Her comical gestures go beyond mere innocence and make her appear foolish and ridiculous. Sadhik, the Assistant Commissioner Singampuli, is yet another Kerala import, who plays the bad man, and Rami Reddy is R.K. the MP. These are stereotypes, which do or say nothing new.

Thankfully the film has no duets to test your patience.

Without doubt histrionics is Ranjith's forte. And that's about it.


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