Gazala, Charanya and Jeeva in "Raam" ... thrilling and different.
EVERYTHING ABOUT "Raam"(U/A) is different admirably so. It's not often that you get to see a film worth your while this Teamwork Production House creation is one such. Ameer, whose debut release, "Mounam Paesiyadhae," was a love story, returns with a murder mystery that is bang on target. The film has been in the making for quite a while. When you watch the neatly chiselled and appealingly etched end product you understand why. "Raam" is a dream break for young hero Jeeva, whose two earlier films came and went without a whimper. And it is to his credit that he has utilised the opportunity well.
The doting mother Sarada (Charanya) and her possessive son Raam (Jeeva) share a unique bond. Raam, however, gives her anxious moments with a temper that flares up and goes to dangerous levels once too often. Sarada works in the same school where Raam is studying. He is described as being slightly autistic but otherwise he is a studious school student. The scene opens with the body of Sarada and Raam lying beside each other in a pool of blood. As the policemen enter the scene Raam wakes up unhurt and alert and ... the perfect pace for a thriller is set.
Jeeva has worked hard on the role of the eccentric 17-year old and the result is there for all to see. The film should help the young hero's career. One of the appreciable aspects of "Raam" is the way in which the characters big and small stick to your mind Ameer has given each of them an identity.
And as a welcome change the heroine of "Raam" is not just a glamour babe. Gazala has much more serious work here, which she accomplishes effectively. Malayalam actor Murali is completely spontaneous in his reactions, proving his virtuosity once again. (Actor Rajesh's voice suits him well.) The imposing demeanour and underplayed portrayal of the hero of many films, Rehman, prove to be another example of the right choices in Ameer's casting.
Charanya is absolutely spontaneous as the loving yet worried mom of Raam. But the man who keeps you in good spirits from the moment he enters the scene is Kanja Karuppu as Vazhavandhan.
To a great extent the success of "Raam" lies in the intelligent and racy screenplay, though the storyline could pose a couple of questions. The dialogue, so natural and laced with the right dose of humour, is a strong point. Ramji's camera captures the nook and corner of Kodaikanal, where the story takes place, with telling effect. The imaginative angles and lighting for all the scenes including the group song and dance shot indoors reveal the talent of the lens man. A. C. Pillai's art adds to the natural touch of the ambience. Raja Mohammad draws your attention with his crisp editing. The realistic stunt choreography of Anal Arasu is a highlight too. Helping maintain the right tempo throughout is the awe-inspiring background score of Yuvan Shankar Raja that makes you sit up from the time the title music begins. The melodies fall gently on your ears and remain there. And Lakshminarayanan's audiography elevates sound to splendid levels in "Raam."
In story, dialogue, screenplay, direction and production, Ameer's astuteness shows. Crafted with care and treated with finesse, "Raam" is a luminous feather in the maker's cap.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu