What can a debutant filmmaker, new team of technicians and a group of fresh faces do when they come together? They can team up to render a quality product that is engrossing from the very word go, proves director Panneerselvam.
A former associate of filmmaker Lingusamy, Panneerselvam's 'Renigunta' is a violent tale on the lives of young criminals. The director stress the need to manoeuvre children well and sends a strong message that criminals are not born but made. Teenage boys turning hardcore criminals and contract killers is no ordinary thing and the need to halt it seems to be the mission behind the movie.
Seemingly influenced by The City of Joy, 'Renigunta' has bloodshed, gore and violence almost all through. The young criminals involving in murder and heist sends chill in one's spine. The director's apt characterisation and strong team of technician gives sheen to it.
Johnny (son of producer NIC Arts Chakravarthy) makes his debut playing the lead role while a group of freshers including Sanusha, Nishanth, Theepetti Ganeshan, Thamizh, Sandeep among others make up the rest of the cast.
The movie begins in Madurai where a young boy Sakthi (Johnny) leads a happy life with his parents. A shocking incident changes his life. His parents are murdered by an anti-social and Johnny is forced to go to prison, where he is tortured. He comes across four criminals in the prison - Pandu aka Pandurangan (Nishanth), Dabba aka Prem Kumar (Theepetti Ganeshan), Mari (Thamizh) and Michael (Sandeep). They sympathise with Sakthi, who seeks solace in their company. These hardcore criminals break loose from the prison and help Johnny take revenge on his parent's killers. They decide to go to Mumbai where they plan to become big gangsters. But fate has other plans. They land at Renigunta where they come across Bunker (Bunker), who acts as mediator between contract killers and clients.
At Renigunta, these boys get the acquaintance of Sardar (an influential don) through Bunker. After a successful murder in the town, Sardar takes these boys seriously. Meanwhile, Sakthi comes across a dumb girl (Sanusha) in the neighbourhood. After a few encounters, romance blossoms between them. But the girl's brother plans to push her to flesh trade. Taking pity on Sakthi, his friends decide to help him elope with the girl, but only after completing a murder for Sardar.
But all plans go haywire when they execute their murder plans. Sakthi loses a couple of friends in front of his eyes. An angry Sakthi turns to Sardar for help. But Sardar flees from the place. Sakthi eventually teaches him a lesson by bumping him off. But did he join hands with his lover girl or not forms the climax.
Johnny as Sakthi has been impressive. His body language and dialogue delivery besides emotions sit apt for the character. Sanusha is not just cool and cute on screen, but has also performed with grace. Among the boys Nishanth and Theppati Ganeshan has been outstanding. He not just evokes terror while committing murders but successfully manages to evoke laughter in few scenes.
Due credit should be given to young cinematographer Sakthi, a former associate of Jeeva. His capturing of the action sequences looks fresh in Tamil cinema. Ganesh Raghavendra's background score sets up the momentum.
Produced by Mahendrakumar, 'Renigunta' is a raw action film. However too much blood and wielding of knives creates a fear in the audience. Had the director cut down on such scenes, 'Renigunta' could have been a destination one would love to travel.