Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum movie review: A well-intentioned but average social drama
Cast: Ramya Pandian, Mithun Manickam, Vani Bhojan, Director Arisil Moorthy (Tamil) The biggest limitation of Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum is its lack of emotional depth. The lead couple’s arc remains agonisingly two-dimensional, where we know precious little about them apart from their love for their bulls.
Raman Aandalum Raavanan Aandalum is the opening phrase of the blockbuster Rajinikanth song from Mullum Malarum. The full version is "Raman aandalum ravanan aandalum enaku oru kavalai ila" (Whether
Rama rules or Ravana, I don’t care). In Mullum Malarum, the song is a boisterous proclamation of Kaali’s bravado and morality. In Arisil Moorthy’s Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum (RARA), it’s a plea from the common, impoverished man — no matter who rules us, our situations are not going to change.
The movie revolves around the couple Kunnimuthu (Mithun Manickam) and Veerayi (Ramya Pandian) who live in the remote village, Poocheri. Their beloved bulls,Vellaiyyan and Karuppan-gifts from Veerayi’s father for their wedding- go missing. The couple treated them as their children. When
Kunnimuthu goes to the police station to file a complaint, they send him away without taking a complaint. Hence, begins their long search for their bulls and their journey discovering social apathy.
RARA aspires to spark a thought of social awareness within the layman, but it doesn't go beyond the usual platitude.
The narrative of the movie also meanders all over the place with its political and social commentary, torn between being a social satire and a social drama. For example, there’s a board in a small parotta stall reading, “Engineering paditha parotta master venum” (Required: Parotta masters with an
engineering degree). There’s a Hindi signboard in the middle of nowhere, and a Hindi-speaking food delivery person appears in a village with no roads. One gets the sentiment but these quips get increasingly incongruous; they don't improve the value of the main storyline.
RARA aspires to make a passionate plea for our impoverished rural population. The disappearance of Kunnimuthu and Veerayi’s bulls snowboards into a larger political and development issue, but the
film’s people do not involve themselves in this predicament. Even when Narmada (Vani Bhojan), a well-meaning journalist, makes a passionate case about the village’s lack of development, it gets no visible reaction from villagers. When the stakeholders are so dispassionate about it, how the audience can show support for the cause! Despite earnest performances from the lead trio — Ramya Pandian, Mithun Manickam, Vani Bhojan — RARA
fails to go beneath the surface. Vadivelu Murugan and Lakshmi Patti's organic humour is quite enjoyable. But the film's biggest limitation is its lack of emotional depth. The lead couple’s arc remains agonisingly two-dimensional. We don’t even know what they do for their regular livelihood.
Thus, the film’s emotional core remains stagnant for a major chunk of its duration. With all these roaming around and songs mor than required (even though this is a commendable debut as composer for singer Krishh), RARA runs way longer than it should. There are way too many loose ends
that further dilute the film's authenticity. The film tries to stay relevant with its political references and also attempts to be holistic. But it falls short to create any lasting impact with this superficial take.
Raman Aandalum Raavanan Aandalum streaming on Amazon Prime Video India.
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