Raththam Review - An interesting core but the film remains passable at best!
C.S.Amudhan’s Raththam opens with a murder in public. The tone is very clearly set. This isn’t going anywhere close to the director’s previous two released ventures. But with very little known about the movie, I still had a lingering doubt if C.S.Amudhan is going to pull the rug from underneath. And when Nizhalgal Ravi calls Vijay Antony (an investigative journalist who is on a self-imposed exile due to a personal loss) to return back to duty, as only he can set things right, I couldn’t help but recollect Shiva from similar scenarios in Thamizh Padam 1 and 2.
Raththam has a very interesting core. It is about an investigative journalist trying to get behind hate crimes (murders) and finding out that there is a lot more than what meets the eye. The reveal is certainly interesting and leaves you genuinely interested with the proceedings. But the issue with Raththam is that any sort of tension in the plot is hardly translated to the screen. The director has probably tried to keep things a lot subtle to ensure that we never get reminded of his previous works. But what we get from most actors on screen isn’t subtlety but a certain non-expressive style. I am not talking about strong emotional connect but considering this is a thriller, you at least need the characters on screen to display a certain tension. You get it that Vijay Antony plays a level headed journalist who isn’t going to let you know what he is thinking but even the other characters are rarely perturbed on screen. There is a scene involving Mahima Nambiar and Vijay Antony in the former’s house. It is one of the few instances where there is some genuine involvement with the characters and their motives.
Most of Raththam plays out like an information dump. The characters on screen keep listing out details akin to a news report. It makes sense in a way as most of the interactions are between journalists but there has to be at least some sort of a connect with the audience. We are always at an arm’s distance (more to be honest) with whatever is happening on screen. The dialogues and the way the characters interact don’t help either. The protagonist tells something. The others reply ‘okay’. Someone tells something important. The protagonist replies ‘good or very good’. Everything comes across as perfunctory. The film might not demand an emotional investment, but it definitely needed some tension.
Spoilers Alert Begins!
The reveal about a certain character does work and it is not really something that you see coming. But the BGM reminds you of something similar from Adhe Kangal (2017).
Spoiler Alert Ends!
Raththam has an interesting core. It remains passable if you are willing to be invested only with the plot. But the execution leaves a lot to be desired.