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Asuran Review

U/A Action, Drama 2 hrs 20 mins Oct 4, 2019
Wow
3.6

Critics

3.6

Users

3.5

Asuran Review & Rating

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Asuran Review: Sun Rises In The East. Vetrimaaran Makes Great Films

Sun rises in the East. Vetrimaaran makes great films. 

The premise

Now, with that out of the way, let's get into the background of the film were going to get acquainted with. Asuran! Asuran is based on the highly acclaimed novel by Poomani, Vekkai. It deals with the story of a fugitive from an underprivileged class and how he and his father escape from a negative fate. It is a work on the caste divide and how men of privilege treat or mistreats the lesser fortunate. And how money is treated as the might.

Vetrimaaran who is known to utilise a lot of detail and organic technics to create an effect on the audience is, no wonder, attracted to the subject. He based the basic plot of his film on Vekkai and presented it in his inimitable style. As is the case with all his films except Visaranai, he teamed up with Dhanush, probably the most versatile actor of this generation. 

The story

Sivasamy is a 48 year old living with his family that consists of his wife and children. Among them are Murugan - a hot-headed youth of 20 something and Chidambaram - a teenager. A word on Sivas6amy is a world-weary middle-aged person who is always a pacifist. Dhanush is terrific in portraying him. He played a character that is older thn his real-life self. 

Their village is populated with all sorts of people, a microcosm of the world itself. The tranquility of the life of the Sivasamy family is erased by the landlord played by Adukalam Naren. Sivasamy has a small piece of 3-acre land. As usual with the landlords, he eyes this piece of land so that he could build a cement factory. But the family resists. As it is their only livelihood and in return for giving it to the landlord, what they get is virtually nothing. 

Obviously this enrages the landlord. He tries to atrocise the family. The eldest son, Murugan insults the landlord which adds to the fire if his rage. He then decides to eliminate the family. A big tragedy strikes which makes the mostly non-violent younger son Chidambaram kill Narasimha in a fit of rage. There's no plan. It's not coldblooded murder.  Nevertheless, the relatives of the deceased decide to make the family, especially the kid from the earth. 

The father, Sivasamy tries his best to solve the issue peacefully but the men who haunt them like baying hounds don't let leave happen. The father and son go on a run. How and if they escape from the clutches of death, and if their land is saved form the rest of the story. 

Writing and direction

There are multiple subtexts in the film. What, on the surface, started as a struggle because of the class divide has an undercurrent touch of caste divide. The underprivileged in the film represent the lower rings of society. A poor man's anger leads to his destruction only and it is better for them to stay put. Or so the upper echelons of society in rural areas think and make them think.
 
The movie opens with a shot of moon reflecting in the water, probably a tank. Suddenly we see four feet splurge into the still water which looked quite soothingly beautiful lose its shape. Like the lives of the underprivileged's when a landlord decides to develop the village (read: develop his wealth). We see Dhanush as Sivasamy and Ken Karunas as his son Chidambaram. They are hounded by the relatives of the landlord who seek revenge for his death. 

It's all chaotic. Just like the mind of Sivasamy. He doesn't want to indulge in violence. But doesn't want to lose his son. All shown within the first few minutes of the screen time. The writing by Vetrimaaran is metaphoric. The narration is peppered with tense moments and high-octane violence. Indeed not even Visaranai matches the gory violence of this film. The screenplay oscillates between the present and the incidents that lead to the running for the life of Sivasamy and his son. 

This helped build tension and suspence. He cleverly used time and tension and theme and tension at the same time. Nothing is spelled out in the first half. He gave us a cerebral exercise. The direction is subtle. Vetrimaaran's use of space (on-screen, screen space, and that in the audience is superlative). He makes us part of the proceedings and makes us want to escape the tense situation but couldn't move an inch from our seats. 

The performances

Dhanush is the most versatile among the current generation star heroes. Full stop. He has his own heroic moment which comes at the right moment in the second half which is more than very effective. His body language and voice modulation are as authentic as it gets. He is Sivasamy. Not a young actor in his mid-thirties playing an old man. That he teamed up with an actress who is older than him shows how seriously he takes his films. 

Manju Warrior makes an emphatic presence. She, though had limited screen time, makes for most of the role that offered. Ken Karunas is effective in his role of a teenager who triggered the entire plot. It is as much his story as it is Dhanush's Sivasamy's. TeeJay Arunasalam is all fire as Murugan. Adukalam Naren as the evil landlord is caricaturist but served the purpose. 

Ammu Abhirami is superb in her role. She makes us emotional and violently so in a scene where she had to shame walk in the school because had worn slippers. She belongs to a lower caste and the upper caste people think of it as an insult. Pavan and Balaji Sakthivel are all right in their roles. 

The crew

G. V. Prakash Kumar's music is first-rate. It is easily his best work in recent times. The background score goes hand in hand with the narration to increase the effect multifold. The cinematography by Velraj is the best we have seen in a Tamil film since probably his last work. The atmosphere is brilliantly created. The shots are whimsical wherever necessary, the colors are muted but not dull. And the lighting is just perfect for the mood of the film. 

The editing is brilliant. There is not a single waste shot. The credit goes as much to Vetrimaaran's effective storytelling as it is to R. Ramar's editing. The production design is first class. The Thirunelveli atmosphere is recreated like a live show. The dialect to the way the people bustle through the day to day lives is taken care of properly. The production values are rich. 

Finally

Asuran is another gem of a film that delivered by the golden duo of Vetrimaaran and Dhanush. Now, read the first paragraph of this review. 

Positives

  • Vetrimaaran's total-cinema style of filmmaking
  • Dhanush at her best
  • Ken Karunas and TeeJay
  • Manju Warrier in an effective role
  • Music and cinematography
  • Rich production values

Negatives

  • The review writer couldn't find a microscope readily

Pycker Rating: 4 out of 5

Reviewed by: GitacharYa

Asuran Critic Reviews

Asuran User Reviews

  • Jaya

    17 Oct 19 @ 10:57 PM

  • Adi

    4 Oct 19 @ 5:16 PM

Asuran Live Updates & Public Talk

One of the highly successful director-actor combinations of recent times, Vetrimaaran and Dhanush, who have delivered three back to back commercially successful classics have come up once again with another film with strong content and set in a rural backdrop. The resulting film Asuran is easily the most-awaited movie this Navaratri (Dussehra) and hits the screens today amid a lot of anticipation from fans of not just Dhanush but also pure cinema. The initial talk for the film is highly positive and it seems the V-D pair have delivered one more gem of a film. 

The first half of this film is riveting. The narration is presented in a rustic and raw manner. Vetrimaaran, says some commentators, is easily the most versatile director of our times. Give him any landscape, he will excel in it. North Madras (Vada Chennai), Madurai (Aadukalam) and now Kovilpatti, his films are authentic and flawless. bloodbath revenge drama in a rural family setup. Dhanush shows his maturity as a performer. An energetic youth to a father to a killer, the transformation is just seamless.

Keep watching for more Asuran public talk and live updates. The review follows soon. It's just a refresh away

Asuran Preview

What's The Story behind Asuran?

Vetrimaaran is one filmmaker who's always delivering world-class cinema in Kollywood. He is an ambassador for Tamil Cinema at the global level. As he himself emphatically said the more local you go with your story, the more global your film becomes. Now, once again he has taken a story which is set in the interior Tamil Nadu. Moreover, it's based on the critically acclaimed novel by Poomani, Vekkai. 

The film is about a father and son duo played by Dhanush and noted Malayalam actress, Manju Warrier plays the female lead in her Kollywood debut. The film is the fourth collaboration between Dhanush and director Vetrimaaran. With a strong subject which deals with caste discrimination, problems faced by the people from the lower-rung of the society, issues faced by farmers, and the importance of education.

Why We Should Watch Asuran?

Because it is a Vetrimaaran film. And moreover, it is his film with Dhanush post the highly acclaimed success of Vada Chennai. Before going for Chapter 2 of Vada Chennai, Dhanush and Vetrimaaran visited another explosive subject in the interim. The visuals are striking as is the case with all Vetrimaaran films and intensity is written all over the film. 

Watch Out For

Vetrimaaran's filmmaking

Not for nothing, Vetrimaaran is one of the highly respected filmmakers of Tamil Cinema. His last film, Vada Chennai, is an epic gangster saga spanning decades and historical events are blended organically into the fictional narration. He is adept at dealing with intense subjects that have native vibes and are deeply ingrained in the grassroot level of Tamil society. Asuran has his favorite hero at the helm, playing a dual role of father and son. 

Dhanush and Manju Warrier

Manju Warrier is one of the top Malayalam actresses a couple of decades ago and is now the reigning star heroine after making a reentry. Acclaimed as one of the best actresses of her generation, Manju makes her Kollywood debut. She plays the role of Pachaiyammal, and teams up with Dhanush. 

Dhanush is one of the most versatile actors of his generation and is capable of pulling virtually any kind of role even to the extent of altering his body language/physique. All his films of his in the combination of Vetrimaaran are recorded as classics. Adukalam had brought him National Award too. 

The team

Produced by Kalaipuli S. Thanu, this action drama is helmed by Vetrimaaran. He has, as usual, selected top of the line team members. G. V. Prakash Kumar composed the musical score. Velraj handled the cinematography which has a strong earthy feel. Prakash Raj, Balaji Shakthivel, Pasupathy, and Adukalam Naren played crucial supporting roles.