NAGESWARI

A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam


Cast: Ramya Krishnan, Karan, Vadivelu, Vivek, Ramesh Khanna, Pritviraj
Music: S.A.Rajkumar
Direction: Rama.Narayanan

Probably wanting to provide the viewers with a little bit of variety, Rama.Narayanan has stepped into the snake world for his next devotional offering. While his Amman offerings could atleast be considered full-length devotional movies with their storylines of the deity protecting her devotees, Nageswari, for the most part, looks more like one of the numerous cheap horror movies where someone returns from the dead to inflict revenge on those who killed them. With its combination of this revenge story and poorly done graphics, this movie offers precious little for even the most devout of viewers.

Nagaveni(Ramya Krishnan) and her brother(Vadivelu) are great devotees of Nageswari Amman. When a woman sees the devotion Nagaveni has for the deity, she decides to get her wayward son Eshwar(Karan) married to her. The night before the wedding, Eshawar and his friends, who are drunk, tease and then kill Nagaveni's brother and then her. But she rises from the dead and arrives in time for the wedding. Once inside the house, she torments her husband and his four friends.

It was with trepidation that I started watching this movie since any movie with the term 'Naga' in its title reminds me of 2000's unwatchable Nagalingam and Rama.Narayanan doesn't disappoint. It is usually the cheap, low-budget, horror movies that usually have this theme of a woman being harmed by a gang of friends and returning to take revenge. Rama.Narayanan makes the woman(and her brother) ardent devotees of a deity, adds some graphics and serves it up as a devotional movie. Unlike his earlier movies, there are very few scenes of the deity helping her devotees and the bulk of the movie consists of Ramya Krishnan going after the foursome.

The amount of graphics have been increasing in Rama.Narayanan's movies but the sad fact is that the increase is only in quantity and not quality. The graphics are amateurish and while this is acceptable in scenes done with an eye on comedy, they seem particularly bad in serious scenes. With Karan and his friends being killed by various forms of a snake, the oppurtunity for graphics is enormous. Infact, the situations for the death of Pritviraj and Riyaz Khan are quite well developed(considering that this is Rama.Narayanan's movie!). But the depiction on screen is damaged by the poor graphics. The scene where the Ayyanaar statue comes to life and chases down the bad guys is one scene that is better than the others but its effect is also spoilt by its overuse.

The lone factor that rescued Rama.Narayanan's previous offering Palayathu Amman was Vivek's comedy. Here too he has a separate comedy track, but unfortunately it doesn't work. He starts off strongly by spoofing the theme of Palayathu Amman but the single-joke track quickly loses steam and very few of his lines raise genuine laughs. Vadivelu too has a couple of jokes before turning sentimental and even these are funnier than Vivek's jokes. The funniest lines belong to Ramesh Khanna who makes us laugh inspite of being one of the bad guys. While we are used to comedians tagging along with the hero, this is the first time the villain has a comedian in his group and the concept works pretty well.

Ramya Krishnan radiates enough fire in her eyes to suit the role of a woman with a mission. She also gets the oppurtunity to display her dance skills a little. Karan and friends are believable as the bad guys though Pritviraj does his usual bit of overacting. Vadivelu once again proves he may be more tolerable in a role that lays emphasis on sentiments over comedy. S.A.Rajkumar picks from his bag of 'songs for devotional movies' to deliver some unremarkable tunes.