PULAN VISAARANAI

A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam


Cast: Vijayakanth, Rubini, Sarathkumar, Anandraj, Radharavi, Vaishnavi
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Direction: R.K.Selvamani

Vijayakanth's recent movies where he dons the role of a policeman have gotten more ludicrous with each outing(one can only hope he has reached the peak with Narasimma) but there was a time when such movies signalled well-made movies with good action, robust fight sequences and overall, a thrilling time. Pulan Visaranai is one such movie that is partly based on some real-life events and is exciting most of the time.

Dharma(Anandraj) is an auto driver who kidnaps young women and is on the payroll of a powerful politician RR(Radharavi). Honest Raj(Vijayakanth), a DCP investigating the murder of an MLA, zeroes in on RR but is suspended by his higher-ups due to political pressure. Three years later, he is brought back when Governor's rule is established and given charge of the investigation into the disappearance of a man whose sister had earlier disappeared. His investigation leads him to Dharma and RR and then to a private hospital in Bombay.

R.K.Selvamani was a big fan of fashioning his movies out of real-life events and this one is no exception. Anandraj's role is based on the dreaded 'Auto' Shankar, right down to his profession and method of disposing off the bodies. The inspiration for the second half is just fiction though. The happenings at the hospital in Bombay are based on a famous book, which was then made into a movie in Hollywood. But Selvamani infuses both tracks with life and the movie moves at a fast clip throughout. Though Vijayakanth's investigation seems to rely on hunches and coincidences, the chase itself is exciting. His unearthing of the secrets at Anandraj's place is picturised very well.

Selvamani's rather low opinion of politics and politicians shines through rather obviously in this movie. Radharavi is the poster boy for every rotten politician and his actions and dialogs are extremely deragatory. He has something nasty to say about the gullible public and his real intentions everytime he opens his mouth. The scene where Vijayakanth addresses the policemen and Radharavi addresses other politicians is well-taken.

While the first half holds some fascination because of the truth behind it, the second half descends into pure masala. Vijayakanth's actions to infiltrate the hospital and other acts as he searches for his daughter are completely cinematic. But the daughter's run as she is being chased by goons has some heart-stopping moments and a couple of her moves(like opening the door before running in the opposite direction) are very intelligent. But the deaths towards the end are completely unnecessary and seem like a cheap way to bring in sentiments. The climactic mano-a-mano fight between Vijayakanth and Sarathkumar is ferocious and well picturised.

Vijayakanth, easily the actor who has donned the role of the policeman most times, looks trimmer and fights with vigor. Sarathkumar is the suave villain and flexes his muscles for the final fight. Radharavi is a nice fit as the corrupt politician while Anandraj is adequate. Ilaiyaraja has little to do in the predominantly action film but shows his mettle in the background score during the searches and chases.