Direction: Vetri Maaran
Cast: Dhanush, Manju Warrier, Ken, Teejay, Pasupathi, Naren
Asuran begins in an eerie manner when way past midnight, an elderly Sivasamy (Dhanush) breaks the perfect reflection of a full moon by stepping on to the pool of water where it can be seen. Along with his son Chindambaram (Ken), they wonder how to get out of the mess they are currently in. Sivasamy’s family is from a lower caste and they have a farm down south near Tirunelveli. Narasimhan (Aadukalam Naren) an upper-caste landlord wants to grab Sivasamy’s farm to build a cement factory. Things spiral out of control when Sivasamy’s elder son Murugan (TeeJay Arunasalam) disgraces the landlord, and the latter brutally murders Murugan.
Sivasamy still wants to make peace and not get into a violent feud. But Chidambaram is having none of this and unable to bear his mother Pachaiyamma’s(Manju Warrier) grievances, kills Narasimhan. Now the landlord’s family and relatives are out for blood. Will the poor, beleaguered Sivasamy and his son survive the goons that have been unleashed on them?
Asuran is one of Vetri Maaran’s more violent revenge drama films that keep you hooked till the very end. The way the master storyteller unfolds the narrative once again proves his enormous grip over the medium. An adaptation of Poomani’s novel Vekkai, the movie presents itself as an action drama while letting all these issues of caste and class seethe in the background. The first half is about the escape plan with tensions rising with each passing scene. The latter parts of the film tell of Dhanush’s backstory from the 60s.
Through language and culture, Vetri Maaran has recreated Kovilpatti in a very interesting manner. You cannot help but be curious about their mannerisms and practices. Mariyamma (Ammu Abhirami-impressive) for instance is named and shamed for wearing slippers to school, the reason for which is that she’s from an oppressed community. Many such scenes depict the crude practices and discriminations that survive to this very day!
Needless to say that Dhanush simply excels in the company of Vetri Maaran. And Asuran is no different. With his terrific screen space, Dhanush has delivered an award-winning performance. His mere presence in a scene is enough to convey several emotions. And it is a treat to watch him playing a role much older than his age (without prosthetics) convincingly. His looks, body language, his costumes and gait, everything is perfect. Don’t miss the ‘mass scene’ of Dhanush in the pre-interval block. Manju Warrier sans makeup is equally impressive. A natural performer that she is, Manju shines every bit. TeeJaY Arunasalam and Ken Karunaas make their brilliant debuts. Pasupathy and Prakash Raj were aptly cast and create the necessary impact.
On the technical side, Velraj’s cinematography is one of the high points, which elevates the mood of the film. GV Prakash’s tunes and BGM are imposing. Action sequences by Peter Hein are fresh and authentic.
Too much of violence, blood and gore is disturbing. However, Asuran imparts a relevant message and the well-made film combined with solid performance from the lead actors is not to be missed....