Director: Jagadeesan Subu
Cast: Vikranth, Vasundhra Kashyap, Baby Shruthika, Camel
We have seen dogs, cows, goats and even snakes playing parallel leads with the hero in Tamil cinema. For the first time a camel is being brought on board as part of the script in Bakrid.
Rathinam (Vikranth) is a simpleton who leads a contended life with his wife Geetha (Vasundhra Kashyap) and little daughter Vasuki (Shruthika) at a village near Chennai. After seven years of struggle, he gets back his ancestral property, and unlike his brother who wants to sell his share, Rathinam prefers farming. The local bank is ready to lend him loan, but that was not enough. On his friend's advice, he approaches a local Muslim moneylender who is gearing up for Bakrid celebrations. Appreciating Rathinam’s noble gesture, the moneylender comes forward to give him money. There he sees a mother camel along with its calf brought for the Bakrid festivities. The financier disapproves the baby camel for Qurbani, and a thrilled Rathinam offers to take it home.
He names her Sara (short form of his dad Saranagan, who was a farmer) and its arrival brings lot of happiness to his family. He rears it along with other cows in his shed. When all goes well for a year, Sara falls sick and the vet doctor (MS Bhaskar in a cameo) suggests Rathinam to put him back at his original habitat – deserts of Rajasthan. He seeks the help of a lorry driver (Rohit) and thus begins his road trip to Rajasthan. How he overcomes the predicaments on his way which includes a scuffle with the cattle rescue activists (Gau Rakshaks), tough cops and petty robbers and whether finally he leaves Sara in Rajasthan forms the reminder of the movie.
Vikranth has given one of his best performances till date. He has got the naturally innocent face, which helps him to bring the subtlety of the character well. Vasundhra plays an effective foil and given a realistic feat. Shrutika is cute and thankfully the director has portrayed her as a normal kid. Moghli, Virendar, Rohit Pathak chip in their bit in supporting roles.
The first half moves at a slow pace without any twist, and the bond shared between Rathinam and Sara is well established and the larger message of compassion between a man and animal is conveyed. Post interval the film becomes a bit melodramatic, however, the director does not go overboard. The music of Inman and the meaningful lyrics beautifully propel the story forward.
Vishnu’s lens captures nature in all its glory be it the lush rural side or the vast deserts of Rajasthan. There are minor glitches nevertheless and at a time when people turn volatile for various reasons, such stories of compassion and humanity need to be told. A feel-good family entertainer worth a watch!...