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Rathnam Movie Review - Grossly outdated!

April 26, 2024
Zee Studios
Vishal, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Samuthirakani, Yogibabu and Gautham Vasudev Menon.
M Sukumar
Kanal Kannan, Peter Hein, Dhilip Subbrayan, Vicky
P V Balaji
T S Jay
Sai Sathish
Ganesh PS
Ashok Narayanan M
Pavan Narendra
Kalyan Subramaniam Alankar Pandian
Devi Sri Prasad
Kaarthekeyen Santhanam

'Rathnam', produced by Kaarthekeyen Santhanam and Zee Studios, was released in theatres today. In this section, we are going to review the latest box-office release.


The story takes place in a village in AP bordering Tamil Nadu. Rathnam is a loyal lieutenant to the local MLA. Predictably, he is an orphan with a troubled past and a traumatic childhood. When he comes across a wannabe doctor named Mallika, he develops an instant bond with her. Mallika and her family are in danger because of a land-grabber who wants their ancestral property. The rest of the film is about how Rathnam overcomes colossal problems in his attempt to save her from desperadoes.


Writer-director Hari, known for the 'Singam' movies and 'Saamy', has been around for about 22 years. Inevitably, his sensibilities have become outdated. His fellow Tamil directors like Lingusamy, who began their careers around the time he did, have given up (remember how bad Ram Pothineni's 'Warriorr' was?). To be fair to Hari, he at least shows the intent to adapt to changing times. In the case of 'Rathnam', he admittedly avoided pacy edits and abrupt cuts that he is known for. Despite his best attempts to steer clear of his old style, the film barely scrapes through.

Murali Sharma plays the main antagonist and his ruthless land-grabbing escapades lack the punch. His confrontations with the hero, played by Vishal, are hackneyed. Director Hari knew the inherent routineness at play. So, he tried to spice up things by creating an artificial border conflict and a flashback that never seems to reveal itself fully. When policemen from Tamil Nadu land up to arrest Rathnam, his boss literally threatens them with humiliation. Samuthirakani, who plays the local MLA, is deadpan when he doesn't emotionally look into the eyes of others with love or concern.

Priya Bhavani Shankar plays Mallika, whose facial features have an emotional throwback to Rathnam's past. The whole idea has been milked to a laughable effect. If this was the twist the makers were talking about, it is eerie. It gets even more eerie when Rathnam discovers something convenient about the antagonist's past and his brothers. Gautam Menon has a cameo.

Four action directors (Dilip Subbarayan and others) and one music director (Devi Sri Prasad) do just one thing here: subject the audience to an ultra-loud, disturbing sensibility. There is just too much limb-cutting in the fights and the rapid knife stabbings are too many to count. The second half is even more difficult to sit through, with all the ever-present danger looming large.

The film might work for the Tamil audience. For the Telugu audience, though, the unintentionally hilarious sentiment and the intentionally hilarious Yogi Babu-Motta Rajendran duo are the only relief.

Closing Remarks:

'Rathnam' tests the audience's patience throughout. The treatment is simply headache-inducing.

Critic's Rating