Hailing from TamilNadu, Pandi and three of his friends work in a provision store in Andhra amidst a daily struggle without knowing the Telugu language and staying in a park, unable to afford accommodation elsewhere. Pandi is also smitten by Shanthi who works as a helper in a house near to the shop and reaches out to him to save her from an abusive employer. Little could they have known that their nomadic life would set them on a course of no return as they fall victim to the system that exploits their weaknesses.
Running Time:
118 min
Release date:
05 February 2016
Directed by:
Produced by:
Written by:
Based on:
Lock Up by
M. Chandrakumar
Aadukalam Murugadoss
Misha Ghoshal
E Ramdoss
Music by:
G. V. Prakash Kumar
Shot by:
S. Ramalingam
Editing by:
Kishore Te.
Distributed by:
Lyca Productions

What’s Hot

  • Vetrimaaran often says he likes to explore the darker side of human psyche. Other than perhaps the 4 Tamizh boys it is fabulous to see that everyone is grey in this film. The film subtly explores the innate selfishness in every human being & how each one submits to the system wishfully or hierarchically. Similarly, Vetrimaaran has taken mild shots at the rampant casteism & quota-system while exploring the language disparity in our diverse country, loneliness of migrant workers & the need for companionship.
  • There is something very natural about the type of acting we see in Vetrimaaran films. So much so that even though the story’s three main characters are the smashing Dinesh (as Pandi), astounding Samuthrakani (as Muthuvel) & the audacious Kishore (as the masterful KK), we can’t help being completely bowled over by Murugadoss, the lanky Pradheesh, Afsal, & every member of the police department shown on screen. Almost no film will get the casting & performances of every one on screen right but we have a marvelous exception here; so much so that even a person with a miniscule role (for example the Telugu Judge) looks so apt.
  • Technically the film has some fantastic sound design which almost negates the need for a background score. The torture sequences which probably have been censored greatly, owe their brutal effect to the racking sound design. However, G V Prakash does excel in the space given to him & delights us especially in the sequence where the four friends eat in the hotel opposite to the Police Station. The editing & cinematography departments come to the fore during the torture sequences as well as the climax shot in a marshy area at night, where their combined efforts make us shiver in anticipation.
  • “Cinema is first science, followed by commerce, and only then art” says Vetrimaaran. On those lines it looks like he has almost perfected the science part of it, given his screenplay always intrigues. Even his most commercial writing, Udayam NH4 had an element of surprise associated with it. In this film too the way he mingles fact & fiction, seeding the character motives & plot points along the way is magical. Of course, the dialogues are very well conceived & the casual modulation of even the most disturbing dialogues speak volumes about the effort behind creating them.

What’s Not

  • Like how it was in X Past is Present where the climactic Tamizh sequence by Nalan doesn’t have subtitles, here too a lot of Telugu dialogues are left un-subtitled. Although it is intentional to show the point of view of the four ill fated characters, it sort of makes the viewer feel mildly left out.


Sound Design


Verdict Stamp

Visaaranai is one of those rare gems from Tamizh cinema which thematically shakes the very foundations of the common man’s belief in the System. It is ironic that this System which was created to make citizen’s life easier & to bring order has in fact taken control of the Country in itself. This tough theme is wonderfully scripted & effectively translated on screen by Vetrimaaran who is fast becoming one of ‘THE’ finest filmmakers in our part of world