Tamil Reviews

Ayogya Review: A Seasoned Masala Film That Tells A Tale Of Redemption

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Director: Venkat Mohan

Cast: Vishal, Rashi Khanna, Devadarshini, R Parthiban, KS Ravikumar, Pooja Devariya

In Ayogya, Vishal plays a corrupt police officer called Karnan, who is initially a friend and lackey of all round baddy and villain Kaalirajan, played by R Parthiban. Around the one hour mark of the film, Karnan and Kaalirajan disagree over an issue and a fight breaks out, and Karnan says something to the effect of “Yes! This is a fight and it is between you and me.” And I wondered if the writer and director Venkat Mohan was having a little in-joke. Considering the many ways in which the battle lines are drawn off screen in the Tamil film world and in particular in the Tamil Film Producers’ Council, for a brief moment, Vishal as TFPC chief, and Parthiban as an executive body member and acting head for a brief while, were sparring.

There are many such moments in Ayogya, where Parthiban’s Kaalirajan is incredulous at the changes in Vishal’s Karnan, and these moments all seemed to me, at least, as carry overs from the off screen tiff these actors have had.

And that made watching Ayogya quite a fun exercise.

*****

Ayogya is written and directed by Venkat Mohan, and stars Vishal, Rashi Khanna, Devadarshini, Pooja Devariya, R Parthiban, KS Ravikumar, and others. The film was produced by B Madhu of Lighthouse Films, and was shot by VI Karthik, and edited by Ruben. Sam CS is the music composer.

*****

Ayogya is much like any masala film, allowing the hero – who may or may not have a heart of gold – to vanquish his enemies, serve up justice, espouse family sentiments, romance the heroine, and time permitting, reform junior villains. And Vishal does this throughout the film. The twist is, he is the junior villain at the start of the film, and by the time end credits roll, he’s the man who has seen the light. And in that, the film is about the redemption of one man – Inspector Karnan. This bit felt much like the redemption of Raghava Lawrence’s Siva in Motta Siva Ketta Siva. That film too was about a corrupt police officer who, finding himself in the position of elder brother to a young girl, transitions to a fairly honest, straight forward policeman who will ultimately avenge the death of the sister.

Interestingly, Motta Siva Ketta Siva began life as the Telugu film Pataas, and Ayogya as the Junior NTR starrer Temper. 

Karnan’s back story is that of an orphaned kid who has to survive on his wits and cunning, and who learns early that money speaks, and speaks loudly. And that power and money will solve his life’s problems. From there, it is a slippery slope to being the friendly neighbourhood cop to smugglers and corrupt politicians. But Karnan first spots Sindhu, played by Rashi Khanna, and then through her, becomes the saviour and big brother of Sandhya – Pooja Devariya. Sandhya is trying to find justice for her sister who was raped and murdered by four men – Kaalirajan’s brothers. And she is also trying to stay alive, escape the clutches of Kaalirajan. And this little bit allows Venkat Mohan to associate the film with all incidents of violence against women – from Jyoti Singh/Nirbhaya to Pollachi sexual assault, and deliver the film’s ultimate “message”: Death for rapists.

This association with two fairly strong women causes Karnan to reassess his priorities and that brings him into conflict with Kaalirajan. A rebirth happens – almost literally: Karnan is beaten up and buried alive and he breaks through – all blood and water and slush – a transformed new man who avenges his sister’s death, gives hope to the other sister still alive, and film closes.

KS Ravikumar, as constable Abdul Khader, is all of us. He looks on and asks the questions we all want to ask: is this all? Will you never change? Why are you doing this? It’s a lovely role and KS Ravikumar plays it well, and despite some of the masala moments that require him to up the hero, it is a moving performance.

Taken against some of the other films that have released recently, Ayogya is an uncomplicated masala film. The only grating, disappointing note was having Radha Ravi as a judge delivering the verdict in a case of rape and murder.

*****

The Ayogya  review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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