Jyotika is making every film count in her second innings. On that note, here is the review of her latest release - Raatchasi, directed by debutante Sy. Gowtham Raj and produced by Dream Warrior Pictures.
The one line of the film is very thin and it is quite natural for the audience to have understood the premise from the trailer itself. Raatchasi is about the travel of Geetha Rani (Jyotika), who sets her own self on a mission to enhance and develop the quality of a Government school she works in. How she methodically transforms the school and eradicates all the negativity, forms the rest of the plot.
Jyotika has played the character of Geetha Rani with the fullest conviction and there are no complaints as such with her performance. She breathes life to the character. She also has a surprisingly interesting fight sequence and it looks as if she asks, "Why should boys have all the fun?" This role is a shift in gears for Jyotika. The audiences would connect well with her performance.
Poornima Bhagyaraj has done her part well with just one scene allowing her the space to do so. The director could've used more of her as she seems to be the only good teacher from the film's start, but who never had a scene for that establishment or so. Hareesh Peradi lends a decent performance but his dubbing is unclear at places. Also, the characterisation is very weak and you don't see the antagonist put up a strong fight against the Shero.
The dialogues are sharp and thought provoking, that packs a punch. The ideas incorporated in teaching a student is interesting to watch, especially, when a teacher asks a student about which place he wants to travel to, in India. There are also some really cute moments that will keep the viewers smiling. The young kid - Kathir's innocent love for Jyotika is cute and it brings some genuine laughs. Jyotika's introduction scene definitely sets up the right momentum and it gives the right build-up for her character. The intent and the message is very relevant and it brings out the hard truths about the current state of Government schools, which also gives a reality check.
The emotions look plastic and that doesn't establish a connect. Geetha Rani's relationship with her father is vaguely explained and even an impactful situation looks very ordinary due to that. Similar to that is her scene with Poornima Bhagyaraj, where the intended emotions take a back seat. The first half has enough moments to keep you engaged but the latter half meets with a few issues. The pace and engagement is a concern as the scenes fall flat without any interesting elements to keep the proceedings going in a proper flow.
The film also has a preachy touch while conveying a message. The preachy treatment might not work for all. The flashback portions that establish Jyotika's character don't lend a helping hand. The conflict is not solid enough and the lack of powerful scenes keep the second half flat. It is also obvious that the film flows in a predictable route.
Director Gowtham Raj has got a good intent and the writing is neat with a socially relevant theme being the premise. However, it needed an engaging screenplay with fresh scenes to make it a more impactful affair. The execution and the overall packaging could have definitely been better.
Gokul Benoy’s cinematography is composed and neat. The eye-pleasing visuals and colour tone are a positive for the film. Sean Roldan’s background score adds essence to an extent, in select scenes. The song, ‘Rekka Namakku’ is a delightful number.