Ratsasan: A Decent Thriller With An Overlong Runtime
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Ram Kumar, Ratsasan is a murder mystery film starring Vishnu Vishal, Suzane George, Amala Paul and Munishkanth in lead roles. The director’s first film Mundasupatti was quite a quirky experiment that was welcomed by the audience. Owing to his unique treatment, one can’t help but expect Ratsasan to hold quite a few quirks too. Does it fulfill your expectations? Through its presentation and ability to sustain the interest of the audience, the film scores. But when it comes to cutting off unnecessary flab and giving you a crisp screenplay, it disappoints.
Arun Kumar (Vishnu Vishal), an aspiring filmmaker is hell-bent on pitching his idea for a script to a prospective producer. He wants to make a movie based on a serial killer. Sadly, every step of the way, he meets with failures. His family grow impatient and pressurize him to take up the job of an SI in the police force. Arun abides by their wishes and shows up for duty. Soon, a school going girl is found to be brutally murdered and Arun ties up her murder to an open case that bears striking resemblance to this one. This is when he comes to the conclusion that the murderer they’re hunting is a serial killer. Arun’s efforts to unravel the identity of the serial killer and his racy investigation forms the crux of this story.
Once Arun makes a shift of profession, things progress quickly. You are taken through the killer’s gruesome murders that happen consecutively. The investigation that takes place at the front of these murders is presented in an interesting manner. You get attached to the characters and travel with them on the edge of your seat. But what goes missing from this basket of suspense is scenes that give us a peek into the serial killer in action. If the director had weaved such scenes into the screenplay, the investigation would’ve been all the more enthralling.
The other reason why Ratsasan continually sustains your interest is the clever manner in which it reveals the trail of clues that Arun discovers. One after another, he hunts down clues and just as he gets close to revealing the serial killer, you realize the culprit can be predicted quite easily. Even though your predictions are most probably true, the captivating journey makes the film worth your while.
Director Ram Kumar’s character development is a hit and miss. He constructs the character sketches of Arun and his family in an incredibly realistic manner. But when it comes to Viji and Venkat, he lets you down by giving them half-baked roles with very little scope to perform.
At large, Ratsasan is an engaging serial killer film. It isn’t fresh yet it is interesting. But the excitement it causes does not cover up its visible flaws. For one, the film reveals the killer nearly thirty minutes before the climax. Due to this, you become impatient as the screenplay stretches itself way more than necessary. If only the director had seen it fit to close the film soon after the whodunnit angle gets broken.
Once the killer is revealed, the director introduces his backstory. But this raises a lot of questions that are never answered in the film. For instance, why does this person become a serial killer? Why does he target girls of a specific age group? These questions simply go unanswered.
Even though Arun’s portions as an aspiring filmmaker helps him in his case as a police officer, this angle somehow falls flat. The aspiring filmmaker angle appears to be a fluff piece. If the director had done away with it, the film could’ve been crisper.
One of the other problems with Ratsasan is its runtime of over two and a half hours. The story has enough suspense to last close to two hours but post that it stretches the screenplay in an unwarranted manner. If the initial portions, the love track, and the climax were trimmed, the film would’ve left a bigger impact.
As Arun, Vishnu Vishal delivers a good performance. From the dejection his character faces to his excitement while discovering clues, he performs quite realistically. As Arun’s supervisor Lakshmi, Suzane George gives you a powerful performance. Suzane encapsulates her character’s sternness well. Amala Paul’s character Viji has a limited screen time and she barely has any scope to perform.
P.V Shankar’s cinematography and San Lokesh’s editing are top-notch. The sequences that lead to the big reveal are edited quite wonderfully. But most of all, Ghibran’s background music takes the cake. It creates nail-biting tension with its suspenseful tunes.
On the whole, Ratsasan is an interesting thriller with an overlong runtime. If you are someone who loves serial killer mysteries, you will enjoy this one.