Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum (2021)
In Kaaka Muttai (2015) we saw the aspiration of two young boys for tasting a Pizza used to communicate the poverty and sufferings of the slum residents in Indian cities. Likewise, an entire community running helter-skelter in search of a lost goat was the background for highlighting the stupidity of crowds in Oru Kidayin Karunai Manu (2017). In Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum (இராமே ஆண்டாலும் இராவணே ஆண்டாலும்) it is the loss of two bull cows, loved dearly by a young couple forms the plot to cover the impoverishment of Indian villages. Though an intriguing plot, the screenplay drifts into familiar scenes to highlight the corruption and the indifferent political system that keeps villagers disadvantaged. The film produced by Suriya‘s 2D Entertainment and available on Amazon Prime Video gets only a ‘Raw’.
Kunnimuthu and Veerayi are a young couple, landless labourers in a backward village in Tamil Nadu, devoid of any basic amenities. They raise two bulls Karuppan (Blackie) and Vellaiyan (White) as lovingly as their own children. One day, they go missing and the plot thickens to reveal the mystery. Kunnimuthu runs from pillar to post in search of his cows, which accidentally gets covered by the media and becomes a sensation. Did it help in finding the cows?
Mithun Manickam appearing as Kunnimuthu has given a great debut performance, the affection he shows in his eyes when he sees the cows was brilliant. He is supported well by Ramya Pandian, who is getting type-cast by Kollywood for playing the wife in households of poverty stories. Vani Bhojan has done the role of a bold reporter well. The Director Arisil Moorthy has modelled the politician characters who remind us easily of contemporary leaders in Tamil Nadu politics like EPS, Stalin, Seeman & farmers association Ayyakannu – there are also scenes critical of both the leading national parties.
In Tamil, there is everyday usage of the phrase “Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum” which implies whether we are ruled by Rama or Ravana we (commoner) will always remain uncared for and helpless. But having this title alone doesn’t give a free pass for a mediocre screenplay. The film displays the real faces of rural India, it poses important questions in front of modern India, but it gets cynical just for the sake of it and offers only cinematic solutions; that’s where R.A.R.A. falls short.
P.S.: If you wish to see the real suffering of Indian farmers captured in a work of fiction, then watch this Marathi short film “Mandi” available on YouTube for free. In just ten minutes it is sure to crush your heart.