A potent line

The title is intriguing. So is the casting. And therein lies the lure of Sri Ashta Vinayak Cine Vision’s Chakravyugam (U/A). Avarice, murder and sadism form the base. Nothing new, but the story spun around the sins, the suspenseful and racy treatment, and the denouement place Chakravyugam apart. Till the intermission, the story unfolds at breakneck speed, showcasing the potential of the maker, Udhayabhanu Maheshwaran, who drew viewers’ attention with his debut Naalai. All the same, you can’t forget the unduly long scenes involving the hero and the young boy in the initial stages. But, even before the spokes in the screenplay mar matters, the narration picks up momentum. The film strikes the thriller chord with a bang, escapes into fun and frolic for a while, indulges in romantic strains now and then and comes a full circle as it races to its end. Driver Kannan’s (Natraj) job is to pick up and drop girls working in corporate offices, including the heroine Sandhya (Daisy Boppanna). Her young nephew is in her custody as her sister-in-law is dead, and as her brother, an income tax official, is away in Kolkata. What she doesn’t know is that her brother has a seamy side to him. His corrupt ways sound his death knell, and Sandhya and her nephew travel to Kolkata to identify the body. Now, the killers are after these two. Kannan follows her to Kolkata. He’s part of the killer gang, or is he?

Pluses and else

It is a battle of wits as the tagline suggests, but not one that’s completely fascinating. For all the strength in a storyline that leaves no puzzle unsolved, Maheshwaran’s dialogue is pedestrian. Maturity in the treatment coexists with a contrived narration in the climax.

Cameraman-hero Natraj who played second fiddle to Richard in Naalai is on his own this time. Before you begin to find his presumptuous demeanour irksome, he settles down to some serious acting, which he does enough justice to. Natraj’s body language and voice modulation remind you of the Rajnikanth of yore. Hip BPO employees falling for the cabbie is a bit too much, Maheshwaran! Jayasurya is a surprise packet. His understated performance and sense of spontaneity is impressive. Another natural performance comes from Raghav. The TV face deserves more such meaningful big screen roles. It’s a solid opening in Tamil for the cute-looking Daisy — one she could have used even better.

Maheshwaran doesn’t fritter away footage for unnecessary features such as comedy. The song sequences are inserted appropriately, in a way that does not intrude into the narration. It’s a well-thought out title from Maheshwaran — for, quite a few vulnerable characters enter the ‘vyugam’ and are trapped. As for the casting, it’s not just different, but also delivers.

Even as the credits roll, you realise composer Karthik Raja’s calibre. The alluring, unusual beats and tune of Yaei! Unnidam ... prove that singing Karthik’s numbers isn’t easy. Lakshanya/Sujatha’s dance choreography and Gururaj’s art warrant mention. So does Dwaraganath’s camera, which takes the viewer through the narrow lanes of Kolkata and the windy waterfalls of Kerala with equal élan.

The team that served a surprise with Naalai, returns confidently with a different genre this time. If you dig suspense and thrill and are willing to take a few protracted scenes in your stride, Chakravyugam could be up your alley.

Chakravyugam Genre: Thriller

Director: Udhayabanu Maheshwaran

Cast: Natraj, Daisy, Jayasurya

Storyline: A deadly web in which a girl and her nephew are entangled.

Bottomline: Weaving a tale of suspense with reasonable skill!


Recommended for you