In the history of Tamil cinema, many films have focused on the plight of various disadvantaged groups. But films about people with mental illness, those who are hated and isolated by their kith and kin for no fault of them are very rare.
While we are thinking that Mental asylums are safest places for the mentally ill and the administrators nurture the patients like children. The truth is far behind. Debutante director Rudran, aspires to unveil us the dark side of the people who claim to take care of hapless patients.
The chief doctor of a government mental health centre and Bhasyam (Thalaviasal Vijay) a big shot who also visits the place in the pretext of giving gifts to the patients are found murdered in the premises of the centre. The police officers conclude that Vetri (Ajmal), Professor aka Radhakrishnan (Mano) and Ganesh the trio who have just escaped from the hospital are the murderers.
Vetri, Professor and Ganesh reach Ooty and join as mechanics in a car service centre. Sudha (Radhika Apte) a criminal lawyer and also a frequent visitor to the service centre gets attracted towards Vetri and also proposes to him for marriage but by that time Vetri and Professor get arrested by the police while Ganesh dies in a road accident.
When they are lodged in prison Vetri and Professor explain the despicable treatment and tortures faced by them during their long stay at the mental health centre to Sudha. They convince her that they have not killed anyone.
Sudha unearths the real killer to save Vetri and Bashyam. She also does her part to bring to the Court's attention, the inhumane treatment meted out to the patients of mental illness and the way they are being isolated by the society.
The director's care for the victims of mental illness and his conviction to highlight the way they are being treated by people who claim to take care of them are appreciable. He has portrayed the atrocities like severe physical torture meted out to mentally ill in the government owned enters. He has also exposed the selfish motives of government officials which make them support the wicked minds who sell the organs of innocent victims to foreign national. The director has also made earnest attempts to make us realize and retrospect the way we treat someone if he/she is suspected to have psychiatric problems.
But the noble intentions have not been executed well and the end product awfully falls flat.
The first half has literally nothing to offer and it is filled with Ganja Karuppu's deplorable efforts to make us laugh and hardy engaging romance sequences between the lead pair.
Second half has been predominantly allocated to the portions of ill treatment and atrocities happening in the mental asylum. Even those scenes fail to make the right impact, the reason for Ajmal and Mano being admitted to the mental health centre lacks explanation.
That patients who have recovered and become normal are deliberately made to stay at the centre for many years even until death and even their family members never care about what happens to the patients once they are admitted in the centre, is a harsh revelation. The motive for this has been explained as the the nexus between caretakers of the health centre and private parties who want the organs of the innocent victims. But even that makes us wonder how this big a conspiracy will go unnoticed for decades, by the higher officials of the health department and other related governmental departments.
Te scenes which show how the real culprit is nabbed by the efforts of Radhika Apte are replete with cinematic liberties.
The climax which shows the temporary reunion of the family members with the patients in the asylum points to us that there is lot to change in the societies psyche. But even this highly relevant message has been written and shot in an uninspiring manner.
Moreover the director does not seem to have taken care about the time when the story is happening. The lead pair is shown watching the Superstar film 'Baadsha' and they cheer for the action scenes as if they are watching it for the first time in theatres. When we think whether the story is set in 1990's in the second half the usage of mobile phone is shown as a normal state of affair.
Ajmal and Radhika Apte give what is required for the role. Mano (Singer) has to improve a lot in histronics. Azhagam Perumal fits the bill.
Mani Sharma's songs are passable and re-recording is suitable. Ramesh Kumar's cinematography has nothing to be complained about.
The film ends up as a case study of how not to convey a good message