Rajavukku Check Movie Review: This king is better left unchecked
A voyeuristic, cringe-inducing drama masquerading as a message film
Remember the needless, force-fit rape sequences of the 90s, featuring a psychotic Anandaraj or Ponambalam, in every other Friday release? What if these were all stitched together into a mega compilation that runs for a little more than two hours, and you are forced to watch it? Sounds awful, right? Rajavukku Check is essentially this.
The film, which is being promoted as a 'message' film that 'educates' parents and teenage girls about the downside of technology, only induces disgust. I really wish someone had shook the shoulders of director Sai Rajkumar and made it clear to him that showing a series of explicit abuse sequences would reduce his film to voyeuristic rape porn instead of the heart-wrenching drama it aspires to be.
Cast: Cheran, Nandhana Varma, Irfan, Srushti Dange
Director: Sai Rajkumar
The film, which is being promoted as a 'message' film that 'educates' the parents and teenage girls about the downside of technology induces disgust rather than pain. I really wish someone shook the shoulders of director Sai Rajkumar and made it clear to him that stitching together a series of explicit abuse sequences would reduce his film to a voyeuristic rape porn instead of being a heart-wrenching drama it aspires to be.
Even leaving aside the problematic portrayal of abuse, Rajavukku Check is a weak film. The director attempts to paint Cheran's Raja Senthoor Pandian as a troubled cop with drinking issues by making him act out the famous dialogue, "Enga annan whisky laiye vaai koppuliparu da" and sip a hip flask throughout the film. That isn't all. He further makes a visibly uncomfortable Cheran sport a sweater in a film that's set in Chennai, presumably to make him look 'cool'. Senthoor Pandian is also a weird father who doesn't flinch even when a bunch of rapists kidnap his daughter and threaten to abuse her. He doesn't reach out for help, doesn't run around looking for her in panic. Instead, he calmly lights his cigarette and puffs out circles of smoke. Seeing him slip into this zen mode multiple times amidst all the chaos made me wonder if this was meant to be an interactive film and if the actor was actually waiting for prompts from the audience.
The loopholes in Rajavukku Check are bigger than the convenient underground hideouts of the villains. A particular character, who is established early in the film, bizarrely appears in the second half only to get gang-raped. The antagonists in the film, who are supposedly the cruellest men in town, ape Vedhalam Ajith's transformation reaction in the oddest moments and evoke unintentional laughter.
Sai Rajkumar's usage of technology like spycam, social network, and geolocation in the story feels like something crafted by those technologically-challenged people who complain that they got stomach-ache because of WiFi.
Oh, I almost forgot to tell you, Cheran's Senthoor Pandian has a rare condition called Kleine–Levin syndrome aka Sleeping beauty syndrome. This makes him fall asleep during the unlikeliest moments. But during this one particular night, he resists his illness and stays awake. This, in a way, triggers the entire chaos. If only he had fallen asleep, the girls in the film, as well as the audience, would have been saved from much misery.