Raghuvaran B. Tech (Velaiyilla Pattathari) Review


Dhanush is such a wonderful actor. I suppose he fills the void left by Rajnikanth with his natural portrayal of the common man. He’s one of the few truly mass entertainers who can relate to the common people and their life. Like I said, he’s filling the void in South cinema and I suspect he will have lived up to the aspiration in the next few decades with his impressive film biography.

Raghuvaran B. Tech, released in Tamil (Velaiyilla Pattathari) and Telugu, is about the perils of an unemployed engineer who is desperate to make an identity for himself and more at home than anywhere else. His character is one that many of us can relate to, not only unemployed engineers but anyone who hasn’t been on the receiving end of the world economy. Raghuvaran is intent on doing only what he went to school for, he won’t settle for anything else and his honest nature doesn’t make him very popular with potential employers. So he spends his time at home, ridiculed by his father as being a “good for nothing,” watching soap operas and doing housework by day, and comforted by his secret stash of cigarettes and alcohol by night.

Unfortunately, the story takes a sudden shift in the second half and dives into what could have been the story of another film. The first half is very individualistic, a very personal account. The second half has a larger topic, it’s about a power struggle of the wealthy, privileged class and the poorer, middle class. It was this change in the story that made it a bit disappointing. The natural expected outcome of the first half was that the character should have gained employment by struggle but by his own merit. It would have been a liberating outcome for us, the audience, who cried and laughed with him and sympathized with him throughout the beginning of the film. But instead, he gains employment by chance, by mere coincidence and the identity which he desperately yearned for in the beginning is literally handed to him in a moment. Where is the celebration in that?

And although I think that Dhanush is fit as a Rajnikanth replacement in South cinema, I do have issue with the excessive smoking shown in the film. Times have changed, smoking isn’t something to be admired and mimicked any longer and I do hope Dhanush is more careful about this point in his future films, even if smoking on screen makes him appear similar to his dear father in law.

Raghuvaran B. Tech, despite the less than satisfying second half, is worth watching. The first half is enough to move you.

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