There was a time, not very long ago, when family dramas dominated Tamil cinema. The mamas, atthais, chittappas, periyappas, were a thing back then. Eventually the trend faded away. But film makers of today seem to show a keen interest in reviving the genre. We are beginning to witness more family dramas hitting the screens. Actor Sasi Kumar who had a release earlier this month in the likes of MGR Magan, is back on screens with his rural family drama Rajavamsam. His recent releases have not enjoyed a decent commercial success, and the actor is in need of one. So, how has Rajavamsam come out? Will it give actor Sasi Kumar the much needed break that he is after? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
The film is centered around Kannan (Sasi Kumar) and his relatively large family. Kannan is an IT professional from a rural background. He brings in an important project to his company which does not evoke a good reaction among the company’s rivals. They make moves to do everything in their power to disrupt the completion of the project on time. They succeed. The project which was supposed to be completed in 100 days is cut short to 30 days. This leaves Kannan’a boss worried. But when you have Kannan by your side what is there to worry? Kannan tells his boss not to worry and that he will personally ensure that the project reaches the end line by the 30th day. So, what does he do to keep up his promises? He does not extend but doubles the shift timing for his team. He gives a little pep talk and surprisingly, everyone nods their head.
Back in the village, his nearly 50 member family has picked a suitable bride for Kannan and he must go to his village to get engaged to her. The bride that the family has seen for him happens to be in his very team. What a coincidence! But there is a catch. She is in love with someone else. So, Kannan draft up the done to death plan of Tamil cinema. He decides to get one of his colleagues Gayathri (Nikki Galrani) to pose as a person he is in love with. Leaving the project that he swore to get done in a shorter span, he travels to the village. And not just by himself but dragging another member of the team. Apparently, one employee shortage in the team is not enough for the team leader.
Kannan and Gayathri go on what was supposed to be a simple one day trip. But the moment Kannan sees his family, the project is extracted from his memory and is thrown to the gutters. We have family reunion songs, melodrama, romance, annoyance in the pretext of comedy, and what not. No one seems to be worried about the project that made the initial portions of the flick. And we are left hanging. Will Kannan complete the project on time while keeping his family members happy, is what makes the rest of the flick.
There are a lot of randomness in Rajavamsam. Director Kathirvelu sets his initial stage by placing the project completion as its heart, just when we begin to get serious about it, he drops that angle and takes us to a village. If there is nothing going to transpire out of it why put so much effort in to presenting Kannan as if he is an employee that every employer desire to have. Just to bid goodbye to his team in the middle to go and sing duets? There is not an iota of freshness in Rajavamsam. It would only be fair to call it a blend of cliches. Film maker Kathirvelu aims to deploy family sentiment as the potent weapon. Does he do it right? No. All we get is dialogues like “30 Vikraman padam paatha madhri irukku, Ambani family ila anbaana family” Blah, blah, blah. But nothing that transpires on the screen gives us that feel. The portions that try to sell us the family sentiment merely feel like they are unnecessarily dramatic or deliberately written so to achieve the anticipated effect.
Actor Sasi Kumar himself should be bored of playing the similar caricature of a role over and over again. Definitely, we as an audience are tired seeing him in the different versions of a same character. Actress Nikki Galrani essays the typical loosu ponnu character and she does it with great perfection. Veteran actors Vijay Kumar and Radha Ravi are effective as usual. Veteran actress Rekha, Sumithra, Nirosha have all done their part well. There is a whole bunch of comedians in the drama Yogi Babu, Thambi Ramaiah, Mano Bala, Singampuli, Chaams, Sathish. Yet no comedy. Whatever they present as comedy end up as tragedy for us. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Sam C. S’s songs do not inspire but he is better with his background score. Cinematographer Siddharth Ramaswamy has tried to cover the flick in the best way possible. His colleague editor VJ Sabu Joseph has complemented his work well with his sharp trims.
On the whole, Rajavamsam makes us wonder what still propels story tellers of Tamil cinema to think that these types of stories could resonate among the audience of this generation.