FRIDAY REVIEW

A potent line -- Chakravyugam

On a well charted course: Chakravyugam

On a well charted course: Chakravyugam  

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 treatment that keeps the suspense going at quite a pace, and the denouement place ‘Chakravyugam’ apart.

Till the intermission point the story unfolds at breakneck speed, thereby showcasing the potential of the maker, Udhayabhanu Maheshwaran, who drew viewers’ attention with his maiden attempt ‘Naalai.’ All the same you can’t forget the unduly lengthy 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. Sandhya (Daisy) is one such. Her young nephew is in her custody as her sis-in-law is dead, and her brother an income tax official is away in Kolkata. What she doesn’t know is that her brother has a shifty side to him. His corrupt ways sound his death knell, and Sandhya and her nephew travel to Kolkata to identify the body. But 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 the storyline that leaves no puzzle unsolved, Maheshwaran’s dialogue is pedestrian. And if you see maturity in the treatment you also notice 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 and does enough justice to it. Natraj’s body language and voice modulation remind you of the Rajinikanth of yore. Hip (!) BPO employees falling for the cabbie is a bit too much Maheshwaran! Jayasurya is a surprise packet. His underplay and spontaneity impress. 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 that you don’t find them an intrusion in the narration. It’s a well-thought out title from Maheshwaran — very relevantly, you have quite a few vulnerable characters entering the ‘vyugam’ and being trapped. As for the casting, it’s not just different, it’s one that 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 moments of protraction 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 in suspense with reasonable skill!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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