Visaranai (Review): A candid depiction of a depraved institution. 4.5/5
Vetrimaaran’s Visaranai tells a story of four friends who get caught by the police for no reason. It’s based on the real-life story of M Chandra Kumar, which was written as a book titled ‘Lock Up’. To say any more would possibly lesson the experience, so let me just say this: ‘If you run it will get you. If you stay it will eat you.’ was the tagline of the Brazilian classic ‘City of God’. This suits Visaranai too. To watch Visaranai is to be confronted with the grim reality of ‘the system’ in a way that’s never been done before in India. This is a beautifully crafted and harrowing tale, a gut-wrenching, poignant, National-Award-worthy film.
Oh dear Vetrimaran, it’s time to pick up your awards. Visaranai is like Shaji N. Karun’s Piravi, in terms of quality and the emotion it brings in us. The story is nothing short of incredible, a pure shock-value social commentary on the system. The maker is forward and direct in his depiction of life, people and the system they are – he’s bold and makes no apology to the faint-hearted. This movie touches on and in some ways dives into the many different themes associated with the system. Visaranai is a web, were everybody could get involved.
I cannot remember the last time I could not get up after a movie. I was feeling as though I am being weighed down by something heavier than myself. Virtually everything about this movie took me by surprise. Visaranai is dark and disturbing. The movie gives you what it says. It’s nearly impossible to watch this without a hint of an emotion. The film certainly doesn’t shy away from the raw suffering and realism of the narrative with gruesome shots of brutal interrogation. I found it hard to watch at points, but I couldn’t turn my eyes away as it was devastatingly real. I was left speechless as the credits rolled.
One of the most potent and powerful instruments used in this movie is silence. There are moments in the movie that almost make the audience feel uncomfortable because of the immensely natural, awkward silences displayed on screen. The movie is very well supported by all the actors, be their role only be without uttering a word. Each actor is as impressive as the next. The performance of actors is really good, more than that, it’s awesome! On the technical front the slick editing and the camera work is amazing.
It’s one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our time. It’s as close to genius as you’ll get and one film you’ll talk about and think about for days. A candid depiction of a depraved institution. Visaranai will make you think, and think well.
Cinephile. Learning the art of Filmmaking. Film-Director.