Tamil film lovers around the world were eagerly awaiting after its premiere (in 72nd Venice International Film festival) for critical acclaim, the film is Visaranai (விசாரணை).
The cinema is based on a novel Lock Up by M. Chandrakumar, the film weaves the incidents that happened in police lockups for the Autodriver turned writer in his real life, into a fiction for it’s audience viewing pleasure. The story is two parts, the first part happening in neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh (AP) and the second part in Tamil Nadu (TN).
Attakathi Dinesh and Aadukalam Murugadoss are the lead two of the four workers from Tamil Nadu who are make a living by doing odd jobs in Guntoor (AP), they suddenly get arrested by AP police on a false burglary charge and are beaten red and blue. They get their release in a magistrate court thanks to the help by visiting TN Police Inspector Muthuvel (played by Samuthirakani) who give them a free ride back home. After reaching Tamil Nadu, 3 of them stay in the TN police station to clean it for upcoming pooja, that’s where the “system” engulfs them.
There is a scene or two which shows a budding romance between Dinesh‘s character and Kayal Anandhi‘s character but that’s about it. The film is 100% focussed on the police atrocities. Director Vetrimaaran has outclassed himself by the screenplay, a remarkable work that stays true to it’s core, a rarity in Indian cinema. Attakathi Dinesh and Samuthirakani have played their roles to perfection, such is the down to earth performance that Dinesh has given, he has simply has lived this character. Kishore comes as Auditor K.K., his character symbolizing the dirty nexus between today’s politicians and money. There is a beautiful contrast shown here by the Director. The “System”, a word frequently used in the film to personify the powerful (Government, Police Department, Nobility and the Rich), doesn’t distinguish between Poor or Rich or it’s own when it comes to saving itself.
Visaranai proves that you can deliver a powerful social message through commercial cinema, yet make it a crowd puller if you know your trade well. I was walking out of the theatre with a strong fear in mind for police in general, a sentiment I can see shared by most in the audience. A must watch movie that has made 2016 a memorable year for Tamil cinema.