Cheekati Rajyam (2015)

If there’s going to be a film coming from Kamal Haasan then it always excites many. The only reason for this excitement is Kamal’s previous unforgettable works. One such film which excited all of us these days is “Cheekati Rajyam”. It’s a direct Telugu film from Kamal after a gap of more than six years. Inspired by a French film “Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night)”, this film was directed by Kamal’s assistant “Rajesh M Selva”. Trisha, Prakash Raj, Madhu Shalini, Sampath Raj, Kishore appeared in prominent roles.

Plot :

A cop yet drug dealer Diwakar (Kamal Haasan)’s son Vaasu (Aman Abdullah) gets kidnapped. Who’s behind this? How did Diwakar save his son form the rest story.

Narration :

Veteran Actor Kamal who delivered lots of memorable films in his career started disappointing with his recent works like Uttama Villain. Cheekati Rajyam is another such work from him. This film belongs to the genre “Thriller” mainly but there is no such element which tries to thrill the audience. This is the biggest reason for disappointment.

Anyways, good things first. Kamal’s films are known for realism. Cheekati Rajyam also satisfies this criteria. Adapted Screenplay written by Kamal himself had entertainment attached to thriller. Vittal Rao played by Prakash Raj is an example for this. The scenes where Diwakar rescues Esther (Madhu Shalini) and where writers Ramajogayya Shastri and Abburi Ravi appears provided ample entertainment. Above all, the screenplay adaptation that happenes in a single location (Insomnia Pub) was good. All these lie on one side of the coin.

Coming to the other side, audience comes to know the film’s conflict within no time the film started. The advantage with Thriller genre is, the conflict can be changed in many ways yet writer Kamal and director Selva never thought of changing the conflict’s behaviour. Moreover, Selva has shot very lengthy shots in the film like parking a car at the pub which requires a single shot. The main thing that fascinates the audiences in Thriller is “Element of Surprise” simply called “Twist”. Having no such thing even at the intermission time disappointed me a lot. I expected one such in the second half but director Selva just let the characters run from Kitchen to Billiards floor apart from letting them do something different.

According to cine experts, two features of cinema should never be combined at a single point. They are “Thrill/Suspense” and “Melodrama”. But Cheekati Rajyam had one such scene where we see the combination of these two in the second half. I couldn’t figure out whether this was done experimentally.

So, Cheekati Rajyam is a Thriller that thrills you without any thrilling element. I liked the promo song that came in the end.

Coming to performances, judging or reviewing Kamal’s performance again and again becomes repetitive like Cheekati Rajyam’s screenplay. So, let’s not talk about him. I liked Prakash Raj’s characterization. Especially, the expression given by him at the end surrounded by cops cannot be matched by any other character. Trisha got a useless role. Madhu Shalini appeared to have some importance but she doesn’t have any, in fact. Kishore and Sampath Raj’s performances were in their characters’ boundaries. Prominent Malayalam actress Asha Sharath got no prominence.

Eminences :

1. Sanu John’s Cinematography. A thriller always needs a good cinematography providing which John succeeded.
2. Ghibran’s Background Score. Besides cinematography, a good background score always elevates a thriller. Ghibran’s talent was completely used.
3. Realism. As stated above, Cheekati Rajyam had all realistic scenes and action sequences.
4. Prem Nivas’s Art Direction. The pub set erected for the film was good.

Lowlands :

1. Slow Narration. For a thriller, narration should be at a faster pace but this 128 minutes thriller came up with a slower narration.
2. Shan Mohammed’s Editing. Many shots are lengthy and some scenes are repetitive which should’ve been trimmed.

Click here for Telugu version of this Review…

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