Review Tamil

Raatchasi review: Jyotika Sadana shines in this message-heavy film on education

Release Date: 05 Jul 2019 / Rated: U / 02hr 25min


Cinestaan Rating

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

In spite of its good intentions, the film ends up being an effort that falls short of being raved about.

It’s been an impressive second innings for actress Jyotika Sadana, who has established herself as an even bigger star as she returned to face the arc lights with 36 Vayadhinile in 2015. Since then, she’s been choosy about her films and has picked scripts that have had something different to offer. Her latest film, Raatchasi, helmed by first-time filmmaker Gowthan Raj, is a well-intentioned tale of the current state of affairs of government schools. However, the film is not hard-hitting enough to leave an impact.

Jyotika plays Geetharani, an honest, fearless headmistress of a government school on a mission to bring about change and awareness. Right from the day of her arrival, she goes on a reformative journey despite facing stiff opposition from all quarters, including her colleagues and students. But eventually, she earns the trust and respect of her colleagues and the students start to embrace her ideologies.

As an idea, Raatchasi sounds exciting on paper but as a film it gets too preachy to be taken seriously. It is one of those films whose intent you want to appreciate, but its execution not so much. The film closely follows in the footsteps of features such as Saattai (2012) and Appa (2016) and has been made with good intentions, buts lacks heart and finesse. As a film, it relies heavily on melodrama and message-heavy dialogues.

The film has an interesting sub-plot about students being divided by caste which would have made a great social commentary. Unfortunately, it is treated in the most uninteresting way. Looks like the filmmaker is not sure if he wants his film to be treated as a message film or reformative drama of a teacher who, a la a mass hero, can bash up a few goons in one scene.

Despite Jyotika’s earnest performance, Raatchasi lacks a soul to be really taken seriously. While there is no denying it is a very relevant film and has some interesting points to offer, it gets too melodramatic and problematic in the second half. There are two beautiful sub-plots featuring a father and a daughter, and Jyotika and a little boy from her school. The latter portion brings so much warmth into the narrative and genuinely makes you smile, but it is one of those sub-plots that never gets properly fleshed out.

Raatchasi, in spite of its good intentions, ends up being an effort that falls short of being raved about. It is a film you wish you could embrace wholeheartedly but can’t.    

Watch the trailer here:

 

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