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Toeing the psycho line



OF SUFFERING THAT NEVER ENDS: Aayul Raegai

Aayul Raegai

Genre: Psychological thriller
Director: K.G. Ashok
Cast: Thennavan; Santhana Bharathi; Gayatri; Sriji
Storyline: A traumatised kid turns murderer.
Bottomline: Confusion confounded!

This seems to be a season of psychological thrillers, big and small. L. V. Pictures' Entertainment `Aayul Raegai' (A) is the latest in the list.

The film analyses the psyche of a boy who faces physical abuse and mental torture only to turn hostile and even murderous.

Trauma and its treatment are fine for a storyline. But `Aayul ... ' has an unwarranted morbid touch — at one point in the story the hero (Thennavan) lives off the valuables on the bodies of humans washed ashore. If the way he cuts out a finger of the dead man on the shore to pull out a gold ring on it is downright repulsive, Thennavan's expression that gives the impression he's a cannibal of sorts is worse! Also how long do you go on watching a man suffer without respite, even after death? The pall of gloom pervading `Aayul Raegai' makes you restless.

Thennavan, who has been in the wings for quite a while, has been given a solid chance to take off in `Aayul ... ' Portraying a mentally affected smuggler weighed down by the guilt of his past actions Thennavan passes muster. But the way he is made to wail aloud in every other scene is not quite palatable.

Vague

`Aayul ... 's' story, screenplay and direction are K. G. Ashok's. To maintain the suspense in the first half, Madhan has made his dialogue exasperatingly vague that ennui sets in soon. But the second half moves at a faster pace. Though again towards the end confusion reigns supreme!

`Uchchanthalaiyil' is a hummable number from composer Abbas Rafi, but the re-recording more often than not is din. Azhagiya Manavalan's camera captures the sombre mood of the thriller. Ashok seems to have got so involved in his story that he hasn't given a thought to the layman in the cinema hall who needs to comprehend what's going on.

The names of characters are not spelt out clearly (does the mistake lie in the dubbing?) and the eerie lighting does not make the faces very clear — these factors only add to the confusion!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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