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Review by : Behindwoods Review Board

Starring: Rahul Raveendran, Meera Nandan, Ganja Karuppu
Direction: Sellamuthu
Music: Fen Viallee
Production: AV Screens

Another film that uses a sobriquet of Madurai as bait to attract the audiences! Is it a bait that you can bite? Sooriyanagaram tells the story of a place in Madurai (and this is becoming an increasingly uneasy representation of the people of Madurai; one wonders how the people might be feeling about this) where the people seem to believe that any problem in life has just one solution – pick up a sickle and slash the neck of the person who is causing those problems and whoever is standing close to him.

When the story has the father of the heroine as one of the main villains, we know that this is not some unique brand of cinema. But, even a predictable story can be made watchable with a script that is imaginative. Here, we get a romance that seems to spring out of nowhere without a good enough reason. As you might guess, the girl’s father is opposed to this relation; emotional blackmail, fights, dead bodies. Another gang of adversaries; more fights, and dead bodies. A few sequences in jail, back again to the main setting where the film ends with another pair of dead bodies. As said above, all the characters in the movie know only one way of dealing with any problem – slash their throats. People baying for blood all the time doesn’t make for pleasant viewing. The director however places one character in the midst of this mayhem, who seems to have some sense in him. He is the ray of hope through which you see the film salvaging some honor. But, his about turn at the climax leaves you dumbfounded and cursing yourself for hoping that something good would eventually come out of this. The director tries to justify this sudden change in the character by placing a fiery sermon in the name of dialogue. But, it is totally lost on an audience who just can’t take it any longer.

It is difficult to find positives in this movie. The girl’s dad opposing her love affair and becoming a dominating and menacing villain is something that looks like it belongs in the 90s, or even the 80s perhaps. Once the story wanders onto such a plane, there is only one direction for it to go, downhill.

Rahul Raveendran does a surprisingly contrasting role after Vinmeengal. If he played a handicapped character in Vinmeengal, here he is handicapped by the script. The role doesn’t seem to suit him in the first place. Meera Nandan, on screen after Ayyanar, gets very few scenes to emote. R.V Udhayakumar makes his acting debut after nearly two decades of direction – he too cannot be judged on the basis of a predictable villain role. Ganjakaruppu tries hard to make you laugh in some scenes. The technical aspects of Sooriyanagaram hardly garner your attention.

The thing that puzzles one most is why this movie was named Sooriyanagaram. Yes, it does take place in Madurai. But, this is one story that could have been fit into any village of Tamil Nadu.

There is nothing in the film that makes it something unique to Madurai. Overall, you can say that Sooriyanagaram is a haphazard attempt at making a commercial movie.

Verdict: Nothing bright in this Sooriyanagaram!

Tags : Sooriyanagaram, Rahul Raveendran, Meera Nandan, Ganja Karuppu, Sellamuthu, Fen Vialle
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