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Rajathandhiram review: A jewellery heist gone wrong

Jewellery heists are in. The other day, one happened in France.

movie reviews Updated: Mar 13, 2015 18:17 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times

Film: Rajathandhiram
Cast: Veera, Regina Cassandra, Aadukalam Naresh
Director: A.G. Amid
Rating: 2.5/5

Jewellery heists are in. The other day, one happened in France. The year before last, jewels were stolen from the hotel rooms of big stars during the Cannes Film Festival. Cinema has caught up with it all right. One of the earliest films on this kind of crime was Vijay Anand's Dev Anand-starrer, Jewel Thief, a terrific attempt by the director, who kept the identity of the felon wrapped up till almost the end. More recently, Neeraj Pandey's Special 26 (with Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpayee) climaxed with a huge robbery in one of Mumbai's renowned jewellery shops.

A.G. Amid's Rajathandhiram, one suspects, has been inspired by Pandey's thriller -- only that the Tamil director has not been quite able to push his narrative into a high pitch of excitement. Often, the plot -- which also has its share of holes -- seems to sag, and yes most of Tamil cinema lacks that one quality called finesse. Rajathandhiram is no exception.

I really do not understand why Amid must inject into his story-telling a vulgar amount of meaningless wit. Somehow, the seriousness of the subject is lost -- and the Tami work pales in comparison to, for example, the innumerable heist accounts that Hollywood has presented on screen. So, Rajathandhiram ultimately turns out to be much less electrifying than what it could have been otherwise.

Even when Arjun (Veera Bahu) and his two friends are executing that final act of a daring plan, the pulse-pounding feeling is missing. The three men are petty thieves who get involved in the life of Dharama (Aadukalam Naresh), who runs a chit-fund company that goes bust -- driving hundreds of people to penury. The friends want to help Dharama, whose ruin had been orchestrated by the owner of a Jewellery shop.

Like Special 26, there is a romance in Rajathandhiram between Arjun and Michelle (Regina Cassandra), but unlike Pandey's adventure, the Tamil feature dips into too many sub-plots that divide our attention, and we begin to lose focus. Added to this is the unacceptable slapstick that does no good to keep the film firmly on track.

First Published: Mar 13, 2015 17:59 IST