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Movie Review: Samurai (2002) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 78%%78%% 78% (54 votes)
Movie Still Every once in a while, a director comes up with a movie that is socially conscious and deals with a familiar problem in society (I guess its their way of making amends for all those movies glorifying anti-social elements like rowdies!). Along the lines of Indian and Citizen comes Samurai, with his own way of dealing with corruption in the country. Debutante director Balaji Sakthivel avoids the mistakes of that diluted the central message in another recent message-oriented movie Thamizhan, and so comes up a fast-paced, entertaining ride that tackles a widespread issue.

Thiagarajan(Vikram) and his friends target corrupt, powerful figures in society, brazenly kidnapping them, and police officer Santhanapandi(Nasser) is in charge of apprehending the kidnappers. Circumstances lead to Thiagu moving to a house close to Santhanapandi's for his next kidnapping and Santhanapandi's daughter Dheivanai(Anitha) falling for Thiagu. Thiagu reveals to Anitha the incident in his college days that led to his current kidnapping spree. He targets an ex-minister for his next abduction but Santhanapandi, who guesses who the target might be, is ready for him.

We are hooked right from the beginning when Vikram, who teaches kids in his neighborhood free of charge, turns into a kidnapper (though the film advertises itself to be purely fictional and not based on real-life people or incidents, the resemblance of the minister to a North Indian political figure is uncanny). Though we are kept in the dark a little too long about the real reason for the kidnappings(the backgrounds of the kidnapped people does give us an idea), the fast pace helps in moving things along. It is interesting to see Vikram prepare himself for each kidnapping and the way in which he uses it. The sequences with Anitha are interesting too and don't divert our attention from the main story for too long.

The most appreciable aspect of the movie though is the focus on the job on hand. There is no comedy track, unconnected or inserted into the main story, in an attempt to lighten things. The director has realised that the topic is a serious one and so keeps things serious the whole way. The romance too is muted with nothing cute or silly by either the hero or heroine. The only diversions we are offered are the song sequences and their picturisation makes them pleasant diversions rather than unwelcome intrusions.

The flashback, about the incident that drove Vikram to his current revolutionary path, is quite routine and both the setting and the incident themselves have a familiar feel to them. But the quiet, subtle attraction Vikram and Jayaseel develop for each other is well brought out. Vikram's initial inactiveness on seeing the tragedy is entirely believable and Jayaseel's drastic act to goad him into action is touching. But back in the present, things take on a 'masala' touch with the final kidnapping. Vikram indulges in his own bout of venting his frustration about the ills of society in the climax though he does make several good points that make us nod our heads in agreement.

Vikram, fresh of the mega-success of Gemini, conveys well the quiet, brooding intensity of his character. His risks and efforts are quite evident in the action sequences. Anitha, recently seen in Varushamellaam Vasantham, looks cute and is quite unrestrained in her performance. But it is Jayaseel who stays with us owing to the design of her character. Music director Harris Jayaraj and cinematographer Sethu Sriram join hands for some memorable song sequences. Moongil Kaadugale... is very melodious and the photography among waterfalls and lakes is breathtaking. Ding Dong... and Aagaaya Suriyane... are also melodious.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam