Rubaai: Lost in Translation
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Anbazhagan, Rubaai tries to be too many things but succumbs to being barely average due to its predominant plot holes. You wonder how the same Anbazhagan who made Saattai, came up with such an amateur film.
Bharani (Chandran) and Babu (Kishore) try to break the shackles of financial crisis with the help of their newly financed lorry. On a work trip to Chennai, they plan to make an extra buck by helping Kumgumarajan (Chinni Jayanth) and his daughter move to their new house. On their way, a cutthroat criminal tosses the money he robs from a bank onto their lorry whilst trying to escape from the Police. Soon, the criminal starts to hunt for them but all hell breaks loose when the four of them decide to elope and start a new life with the stolen money.
Rubaai is let down by a kind of writing that unsteadily holds one too many plot holes. One minute, you try to sink into a heist; the next minute a distracting romance track arrives to disrupt the flow. To make things worse, dialogues are also cut in half as the characters decide to sing the lines instead. Is the film a heist? Is it an Investigative thriller? Or maybe it’s a musical? Unfortunately, you will never find out. This lack of clarity is the sole reason for its narrative problems.
Furthermore, the script to screen translation is undeniably poor. Many aspects of the film bear a resemblance to Prabhu Solomon’s Kayal. For instance, in Rubaai as well as Kayal, the hero falls in love with the heroine instantly. The familiarity grows bigger when we discover that hero has his entrusted friend to rely on. It doesn’t help that the characterizations aren’t done well either. The hero, who you’re ideally supposed to warm up to, manages to annoy you with his silliness all the time.
Chandran showcased a lot of promise in Kayal, but that scope is left unexplored due to the poorly written character he sets out to play. Anandhi has to step up her game in acting if she’s seeking a serious career as an actress. Chinni Jayanth and Harish Uthaman are good, but their characters lack multiple layers of depth.
The songs in Rubaai come across as repetitive and disruptive. Maybe trying to break out of the same Tamil Cinema formula could’ve served the music director better. The placements of these songs are also terrible.
Director Anbazhagan intends to deliver a worthy message but gets completely lost in translation. Rubaai has the same problems Samuthirakani’s Thondan had. Both films have their hearts in the right place, but they let themselves down by trying to be too many things, in turn never being able to fulfill even one of those aspects.
On the whole, Rubaai is a poorly written film with plenty unexplored potential. The film might interest you in places, but mostly it’s just silly and amateur.