Asuran: A tale of two Extremes
Star Cast: Dhanush, Manju Warrier, Ammu Abirami, Ken Karunas, Prakash Raj, Pasupathi and Teejay Arunasalam
Music Composed by G V Prakash Kumar
Cinematography by Velraj
Edited by Ramar
Directed by Vetrimaaran
When we talk about raw action and rustic mud being poured out on actors while they are doing stunts to resemble life on screen, we tend to look at Tamil movies or Malayalam movies more often than not with Marathi Cinema also turning up with such films very often. Kamal Haasan who did everything on the screen came up with such raw films – Virumandi and Hey Ram for example. While many films try to project a raw emotion and win the box office battle at regular intervals in Tamil Cinema, Virumandi is close to a classic that we can never forget with realistic stunts and metaphorical subtexts. When you watch Asuran, your mind goes back to Virumandi without any doubt, even if there were many films in the past.
Because the emotion in both movies is real and in commercial space too. With actors like Dhanush, Pasupathy we are always expecting them to dig deep into the skin of a character but Ken Karunas and Aadukalam Naren are a real surprise in this film. They just keep you hooked to the screen with a story that is as old as films. But why such a raw film with an old story can find your attention and let you talk about it more & more?
Here comes Vetrimaaran who is able to reimagine a simple line of a cowardly father rising to the occasion for filmy twists with realism. You don’t get time to breathe in the first hour and the story doesn’t even give you one. Things escalate faster than you expect like in normal day to day life and for runtime, Vetrimaaran seems to have given up on his sense of building up emotions gradually as the film tends to become a highlights reel after a point. Still, it works. All due to the keen eye that Vetri Maaran posses while handling a scene. His shot selection and division keep your eye hooked to the scene.
The way he handles different sensibilities among the rural areas and tries to define why such conflicts never see resolution, gives you scope to humanize the criminals – that is how we normally read about them. We look at their lives from so distant viewpoint that fighting on the basis of the community feels like BC’s version of living. Still, the reality is that rural areas are riddled with riots because many want it to stay that way. Many want rural areas to still give preferences to people based on their community and other reasons rather than real development.
B R Ambedkar prescribed to Governing bodies handing over reservations as a temporary cure but not as prevention for the problem of economic divide. To make education available to all, Indian Constitution gave the right to divide based on caste in a way – for that time period, education and money were divided based on caste and it seemed right. But in today’s world why people are still ending up as Asurans – Criminals when they can really think about progress? Again, it is because of few people who have vested interests and grudges to keep people under their feet. When they need money they just need everyone to fall in line with their ideology just because they are from a rich community and background. This hasn’t changed for years.
Asuran shows this as a reflection and asks people who see the real problem. The real problem is being impulsive and aggressive than correct. The real problem is not being able to really appreciate the need for looking forward and trying to be “Manly” when real life asks you to seek knowledge which no one can steal from you. While this is Vetrimaaran’s good solution to the problem, he seems to be a director who is distracted if deadlines are imposed. He seems to be a man who is okay with using cheat codes to find the best line that suits the situation and works even at the editing table, cleverly managing with cuts.
This film just exposes all his weak points and at the same time works as a compelling piece. Shows that the man is really at a different level talent-wise and hope to see him get all the time he needs and money as well. Maybe there is even greater level of storyteller waiting to break-free within him but Vetrimaaran is looking for Box Office Vetri (win) more often than not, hence cage-ing himself in a compact box. Asuran works as a commercial realistic film but not a complete justification for the talent that the team posses.
Asuran on AMAZON PRIME.