Raththam review: A worthy investigative thriller from Vijay Antony

CS Amudhan's directorial showcases how our social media posts reveal personal information to manipulators who secretly observe us.

ByManigandan KR

Published:Oct 06, 2023

A poster of the film Raththam
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Raththam (Tamil)

  • Cast: Vijay Antony, Mahima Nambiar, Nandita Swetha,  Ramya Nambeesan, and Nizhalgal Ravi
  • Director: CS Amudhan
  • Producers: Kamal Bohra, G.Dhananjayan, Pradeep B, and Pankaj Bohra
  • Music:  Kannan Narayanan
  • Runtime: 2 hours 23 minutes

Director CS Amudhan, best known for his full-length spoof Tamizh Padam (2010), delivers a gripping and intense investigative thriller this time around.

Rathtam (Blood) starts on a slow note but soon gains intensity as we are introduced to a plot that revolves around new patterns and trends in crime.

The film begins with the editor of a leading political magazine being brutally stabbed to death in his own office by an inebriated fan, who is miffed that the magazine published a piece against his favourite star.

The death is dismissed as just the act of a crazy fan who is taken into custody.

CS Amudhan directorial Raththam

CS Amudhan directorial ‘Raththam’. (X)

The owner of the publication, Rathnam Pandian (Nizhalgal Ravi) decides to replace the late editor — who incidentally happened to be his son — with Ranjith Kumar (Vijay Antony) whom he trained in the past.

After getting trained by Pandian, Kumar becomes a highly respected investigative journalist but becomes an alcoholic after the death of his wife.

Kumar, who migrated to Kolkata with his school-going daughter, initially hesitates to take up the offer. As fate would have it, his fragile health condition because of alcoholism worsens and certain developments make him have a change of heart.

He returns to Chennai and agrees to take up Rathnam Pandian’s offer on the condition that he will start off as just an ordinary reporter and not the editor.

Yet to get over his addiction to alcohol, Kumar does nothing much. But soon, he gets into the groove and spots a pattern in the deaths of some prominent people.

As he begins to investigate the deaths closed as straightforward cases, Kumar soon realises that not just those killed but the killers too are victims and that there is a much bigger hand working behind the scenes.

How he uncovers the truth behind the deaths is what Raththam is all about.

Also Read: Director Arun Vaseegaran’s ‘The Road’ is a riveting thriller

Positives and negatives

Vijay Antony with director CS Amudhan

Vijay Antony with director CS Amudhan. (X)

Raththam works big time because it not only entertains us as a thriller but also provides us with an insight into how the information we inadvertently and voluntarily disclose about ourselves through social media is used by manipulators who are silently observing us.

The film gives an idea of all that can be done with the information we put out of ourselves.

To his credit, director CS Amudhan comes up with a brilliant concept for a plot.

However, the only disappointment is that the premise which offers so much scope for entertainment isn’t completely exploited.

For the most part, Raththam is almost perfect. But, towards the climax, one gets the feeling of the story being narrated in a tearing hurry.

In fact, there are some questions that remain unanswered even after the climax and this has a telling effect on your satisfaction level.

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Perfect casting

Lead pair in Raththam

Lead pair in ‘Raththam’. (X)

The film has some fantastic performances to offer.

Mahima Nambiar, who plays the mother of a dyslexic child, stuns you with a commanding performance.

She plays a significant role that has several shades and she delivers on all counts. Her role in Raththam gives Mahima the opportunity to showcase what a powerhouse of talent she is.

The actor gratefully seems to have accepted the opportunity and made full use of it.

Vijay Antony, in his measured manner, scores yet again. He by and large delivers an ideal performance that works big time. Except in a couple of instances where he is shown weeping, Vijay Antony is perfect.

Nandita Swetha, who has not been seen in Tamil cinema for quite some time now, makes a resounding comeback with her impactful role in Raththam. Confident and determined, Nandita plays the role of an acting editor to perfection.

Kannan Narayanan’s music and Gopi Amarnath’s visuals aid Amudhan’s narration.

Final take

In short, Raththam might not be perfect on all counts but it certainly is a good investigative thriller.

(Views expressed here are personal.)