Asuravadham Movie Review: This Sasikumar film is a well-shot revenge story which lacks intensity
When filmmakers opt to portray visuals in slow-motion, it means they are keen on establishing the impact of the scene to the audience. Indian films often employ this method in action-sequences when the antagonist or protagonist resorts to gory ways of killing. This similar method is depicted in director M. Maruthupandian‘s film Asuravadham, starring M. Sasikumar in the lead. There is blood, there is gore and a lot of action. However, all this is slowed down by the film’s leisure pace which can even test the most patient.
Asuravadham, tells the story of a man who decides to take revenge on the one who harmed his family.
The first few scenes of the film induce palpable tension and energy, especially in scenes where Sasikumar and the antagonist meet. The camera follows their every move and induces a sense of suspense that works for the film. The action sequences by Dilip Subburayan are done perfectly for every scene. The chase sequence in the lodge is another example of this good aspect about the film. When Sasikumar is almost trapped, we know he’s going to have a way out. What was interesting to watch was how he decides to do it. He doesn’t just kick punches in the air or beat up 10-bad guys at one go. He simply shoots!
The visuals and action scenes complement each other well. For example, when Sasikumar decides to follow the villain, he haunts him in the most heroic-way and yet it looks menacing. Picture this, the antagonist is gathered with his group of thugs to protect him from Sasikumar. He then decides to go out to relieve himself. Across the vast grassland, he spots a sharp line that’s from a cigarette, then the protagonist blows out the smoke. The antagonist is threatened! One of the few establishing scenes such as this brings out the stunning visuals of the film. The credits go to cinematographer S. R. Kathir. Another instance is during the latter half of the film when the director decides to shift between using a white colour palette that would have been the result of a lot of discussion between the director and the cinematographer. The music by Govind Menon is another good aspect of the film. It sets the tone of the film well. Sasikumar is perfect as the vengeful father! He is body-language, his intense look is brilliant. Especially, in a role that doesn’t require him do speak much. where he doesn’t need to speak much is impressive
However, the film does not offer much in the story department. The film does depict a relevant theme that should be a topic of discussion in many Indian households, but the amount of time it takes to reveal it is overlong. After a lot of chase sequences, kidnapping the villain, letting him go-then again-letting him go, the story finally takes us to the climax. Throughout the film the antagonist questions Sasikumar as to why he is trying to kill him. He may not disclose it to him, but I am thankful he opened about it to the audience. Otherwise, it would have been a lengthier film and boring too.
Although the film brings to light the harsh reality of the society, it does just the opposite for mental health. Factually, the film doesn’t address the issue of depression well. Filmmakers and writers should take responsibility of bringing awareness on-screen and not misinterpreting information about mental-well being. In a scene, a nurse tells Sasikumar that they tied a patients hand because her ‘depression’ became out of control. This makes you say ‘what did you just say?’.
Asuravadham could have been a well-made attempt, but what keeps it as only a visual and action film is the lack of depth in the sequences. The director could have shown as to how Sasikumar, a simple construction worker employed abroad, thought about battling against the villain. I was curious to know how planned the events at the deserted areas, and how easy it was for him to do so. A strong theme requires a powerful story, Asuravadham falls short of doing so.