Rathnam review: Film Walks Tightrope Between Violence and Nuance

In Hari’s latest film, “Rathnam,” Priya Bhavani Shankar’s character, Mallika, delivers a thought-provoking line: “There is no definition for good and bad.” Initially puzzling, this statement gains clarity as the film progresses, emphasizing perspective’s role in shaping moral judgments. Perspective remains a central theme, illustrated through various narrative threads.

Violence punctuates the storyline, initially shocking with scenes like the brutal attack on a police officer. However, subsequent revelations offer new perspectives, enriching the narrative’s depth. Despite initial discomfort with the film’s intensity, it becomes evident that every violent act serves a purpose beyond mere shock value.

Typical of Hari’s style, “Rathnam” maintains a fast-paced narrative driven by action and intrigue. Despite occasional lapses in visual effects, moments of high tension and drama resonate effectively. The film’s subversion of romantic conventions adds an unexpected layer, particularly in the dynamic between Mallika and Rathnam.

Yet, excessive violence detracts from the viewing experience, overwhelming the senses and overshadowing the narrative’s subtleties. Gratuitous scenes and graphic imagery, including explicit violence and sexual assault, diminish the impact of the film’s thematic exploration.

While comedic relief provides brief respites from the relentless pace, emotional depth remains elusive. Characters’ exaggerated reactions and verbose dialogue often veer into unintentional humor, undermining the film’s intended gravitas. Despite its ambitions, “Rathnam” falls short of realizing its full potential, sacrificing depth for sensationalism.

In conclusion, while “Rathnam” showcases Hari’s signature style and ambition, its excessive violence and lack of emotional resonance hinder its overall impact. With a greater focus on character development and thematic coherence, the film could have transcended its genre constraints.


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