Adanga Maru Review: A revenge drama saved by clever writing
The nifty touches added to the script by debutant director Karthik Thangavel makes it hard to brush Jayam Ravi-starrer Adangamaru under the carpet as just another cop revenge saga
What's the similarity between Honest Raj, Kaakha Kaakha, Sathriyan, Saamy, and Theri? Apart from being cop films, they are all stories of a cop who has to bear the losses of his near and dear ones, for doing his duty. Jayam Ravi-starrer Adanga Maru too is one moulded of the same template, and given we know how it unfolds, it's the screenplay that makes this film an intriguing watch.
Cast: Jayam Ravi, Raashi Khanna, Sampath, Azhagam Perumal, Munishkanth
Director: Karthik Thangavel
Adanga Maru also reminds you of Thani Oruvan. For starters, he's dishing out justice in style, under disguise. In one scene, he rolls up the window of his car trapping the head of a minister’s son. Subash (Jayam Ravi), we are told, goes to any lengths to serve justice. In one revealing exchange, the villain tells him that he’s one man and can’t make a difference. Subash replies, "Naan thani oruthan thaan, aana public." From the looks of it, the Thani Oruvan references are here to stay for a while, much like Vijay’s 'I am waiting' line.
This film also talks in detail about red-tapism and bureaucratic issues. "Obey the order," reminds a senior sub-inspector (a brilliantly cast Azhagam Perumal). There are also your usual corporate honchos, corrupt politicians and rich kids who make videos out of their crimes. Remember that scene in Theri where a rapist is left hanging from a bridge? Stretch that into a feature film and you get a sense of what Adanga Maru is.
But considering the nifty touches debutant director Karthik Thangavel has added to the script, it's hard to brush the film under the carpet as just another cop revenge saga. There are some clever bits, such as the one where Subash finds a victim's home address from going through her phone's Amazon app. While films usually denote the use of drugs with white powder, credit cards and rolled up rupee notes, Adanga Maru sheds light on disturbing trends such as hotboxing where people smoke up inside a closed environment like a car to maximise the effect of the drugs.
It’s not all great though. Treated as a drug, as just an intoxicant, is the film’s female lead Anita (Raashi Khanna), whose name the hero has got saved on his phone as ‘alcohol’. The film would be the same without her. The cinematic liberties Adanga Maru takes are also not easy to digest. For a cop who also stops bikes and cars to check documents at night, Subash never wears a helmet as he zooms through the city in his bike. When even his higher officials are generally shown in a uniform, Subash, our quintessential hero, is always in mufti. The film also lacks a good antagonist. What we're left here with are some well-dressed youngsters posing as villains, and their fathers, who seem to take after dads from Gautham Menon films.
Closer to the climax, in a crucial scene where a video game decides a life-and-death issue, we see simple words such as players and viewers spelt 'palyers' and 'viwers'. Despite all the jargon that explains away Subash’s brilliant ploys, it's hard to believe the likelihood of everything happening as perfectly as it does in the film. But the pace of the film makes sure you have little time to focus on such issues.
The debutant director has penned a story highlighting the inabilities of our judicial system, or rather of those sworn to protect them. And it has to be said that on the whole, he has come up with a satisfactory product that's ably shouldered by Jayam Ravi.