Ka Pae Ranasingam
Cast: Aishwarya Rajesh, Vijay Sethupathi, Poo Ramaswamy and Rangaraj Pandey
Aishwarya Rajesh’s Ka Pae Ranasingam, which is the first Tamil film to be released via a DTH model on ZeePlex, is a well-intentioned tale of a woman standing up against a system. Inspired from true events, this story leaves a strong impact; however, it does get dreary in the process and is needlessly long-drawn. By the time the film reaches the end and makes its point, as much as you want to laud the intent, you’re equally glad it’s over. The length is a major downer in what’s otherwise an important film.
The story takes place in a small village in Ramanathapuram. Aishwarya plays Ariyanachi, who is married to Ranasingam (Vijay Sethupathi), a local activist whose word is worshipped by the people of his village. We see glimpses of Ranasingam’s life as an activist in flashback sequences. All is well until Ranasingam’s family is informed that he is killed in a local riot in UAE and the news leaves Ariyanachi absolutely devastated. When the family is denied the right to receive the body and the process is needlessly delayed, Ariyanachi goes the extra mile to fight for her husband’s body to be brought back.
What’s likeable about Ka Pae Ranasingam, despite its inconsistent tonal issues, is that it focuses on the loss of the family and on Ariyanachi’s quest to get back her husband’s body. It’s a social drama that gives more importance to the issue and how it affects the key characters and doesn’t waste time in blaming those in power, at least not directly. It lets us empathize with Ariyanachi’s plight and gets you invested in her journey as she fights for justice.
Even though Vijay Sethupathi gets an extended cameo, it’s Aishwarya Rajesh who shoulders the film and it’s her show right till the end. Among her contemporaries, Aishwarya is someone who is more comfortable in more rural characters. As someone who can speak the language fluently and is familiar with the milieu in which the story is set, she plays her part as earnestly as possible. It’s a treat to watch her play Ariyanachi as she gets pretty much everything about the character on point. Among the supporting cast, Bhavani Sre as Vijay Sethupathi’s sister makes a strong impact.
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