A mildly intriguing murder mystery | Kalidas Jayaram-starrer 'Rajni' movie review

Kalidas Jayaram has returned to Mollywood after a while with this bilingual film. Photo | Imdb

A Chennai-based family's life takes a turn for the worse when the husband Abhijith is killed in cold blood. The police initially struggle to find the culprit. However, they get a lead when the wife's brother Naveen (Kalidas Jayaram) learns that Abhijith (played by Saiju Kurup) had stopped by a petrol pump just minutes before the murder took place.

Was Abhijith killed because of an extra-marital affair gone wrong? Was his wife Gauri (played by Namitha Pramod) behind the murder? Or was it something else? Bilingual movie 'Rajni' directed by Vinil Scaria Varghese is essentially a murder mystery that attempts to live up to the expectations of its genre. The plot is interesting. When the police suspect a woman is involved in the murder, the mystery deepens. However, the filmmaker fails to utilise the storyline judiciously, leaving a lot of loopholes in the process, making the movie appear superficial.

Also, at a time when police procedural are the flavour of the season, in 'Rajni', the police are reduced to mere spectators. Why is Naveen allowed to access vital CCTV footage, without having to seek police permission first. Where are the police, when he informs them of the suspect's hiding place? These inconsistencies affect the film, which is otherwise pacey and engaging. The suspense could have been developed better with a stronger screenplay.

Bilingual movies, to an extent, help in reaching out to a larger audience. However, there is also a risk in handling such movies, especially since it has to cater to two kinds of audience. While the actors' performances are vital, the director's brilliance is also paramount in ensuring it appeals to both kinds of audiences. Here, Vinil has managed to balance various aspects, including the language and style to cater to the viewers.

Kalidas, who played the lover boy in 'Natchathiram Nagagiridhu' and the martyred cop Prapanjan in the Kamal Haasan-starrer 'Vikram' is returning to Mollywood after a while. Except for some places, where his dialogue delivery falls flat, the actor manages to woo us with his performance. Namitha, who plays his sister in the film, also essays her role well. So do, Reba Monica John, Karunakaran, Ashwin Kumar, among others. However, it is the antagonist Rajni, who is a Rajnikanth fan who manages to steal the show. The background score by 4 Musics elevates the movie.

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