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Lilly Rani Movie Review

Past few years have been a comeback period for many actresses who have been away from the industry for some time. Actress Chaya Singh is one such actress. Lilly Rani is about the quest of a sex worker who goes in search of the father of her child with a rare medical condition in hope of support. Actress Chaya Singh who was last seen on screens in Tamil in a supporting role in the mass action entertainer Action is back on screens with Lilly Rani in which she has played the lead role. Actor Thambi Ramaiah has essayed a vital part in the movie. Director Vishnu Ramakrishnan has directed the film. So, how has Lilly Rani come out? Is it solid enough to revive the career of actress Chaya Singh in Tamil cinema, and be a successful debut for storyteller Vishnu Ramakrishnan? To know that let us get into the movie review. 

Lilly Rani Poster

Lilly Rani Poster

Lilly Rani follows the life of Rani (Chaya Singh), who works as a sex worker to make ends meet. She gets pregnant while on the job, and decides to keep the child. She gets judged, and ridiculed for her choice. Her life turns topsy turvy when she learns her child surfers from bone marrow cancer. Unable to meet the amount required for medical treatment, she decides to seek the assistance of the father of the child. But there is a catch. She is not sure who the father is, but thinks it should be Sambavamoorthi (Thambi Ramaiah), an elderly policeman who is at the cusp of his service. She also suspects the father could be Michael (Dushyanth Jayaprakash), the son of a powerful politician Arputham (Jayaprakash), to whom public perception is more important than anything else in life. He would resort to any measures to save it. Eventually Rani’s journey to secure financial aid for her child puts both herself and her child in danger. Will Rani be able to fight it out with men of influence, and convince the father to save her child, is what makes the rest of the flick. 

Director Vishnu Ramakrishnan’s desire to give Tamil cinema a fresh and touching life drama in Lilly Rani is commendable. But unfortunately, intentions alone do not make for an entertaining film. Director Vishnu Ramakrishnan starts off Lilly Rani on the right note. We learn about a sex worker who gets pregnant to one of her customers, and opts to give birth to the child. We are drawn into the flick at this point. Then we witness her being belittled by people for her choice. These portions do help construct a touch of empathy in us towards the character. But sadly, the portions where the director tries to present us the mortifications a sex worker has to endure to raise a child are built in a cliched fashion. 

A bit of creativity in convoluted situations the character faces, and better dialogues to express the emotions of the character would have infused a sense of authenticity that the director was hoping to achieve. He is the culpable one here. It is his indulgence in convenient writing that dilutes the potential of the script. The stretch where Thambi Ramaiah and Lilly’s character travel together are treated with a dash of humor that is quite enjoyable. Halfway through the film, director Vishnu Ramakrishnan seems to have gone dry of ideas, and to have the run time of a feature film abruptly derails to a thriller format. So, what started off as a life drama becomes a thriller taking the audience who have been waiting for a poignant drama as promised at the beginning for a gull’s ride. 

Actress Chaya Singh brings out a fine performer in her to the fore in Lilly Rani. She infuses life into her character, and makes it look so authentic. She asserts her competency and maturity as a performer. Actor Thambi Ramaiah ditches the stereotypical cop part that he usually plays. For a change, he takes up – though small – a role with space to perform. He does complete justice to his role. Actor Jayaprakash as usual makes his presence felt even in a restricted screen time. Actor Dushyanth Jayaprakash serves his purpose for why he was brought on board. Actor Boobalan is functional. Actor Pandi is adequate. Actor Akash Ram is operational. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music director Jerwin Joshua’s songs add value to the film. With his background score, he has handled the switch from melodramatic tone to thriller mood of the drama well. Cinematographer Shiva Darshan has mounted his camera in the right spots and angles to capture raw emotions of the artists. His lighting is brilliant as well. Editor Beswanth Venkatesh has done his best to trim out the shortcomings in the work of his colleague. 

On the whole, actress Chaya Singh’s Lilly Rani would have been an interesting watch if it had had clarity about the genre, a better craftsman steering the ship, and a decent budget. 

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