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Movie Review  [Devan]

Director: Arun Pandian
Cast: Vijaykant, Karthik, Arun Pandian, Meena, Kausalya, Sai Kumar, Asru Mochan Mohanty, Ajay Ratnam, Chandrasekhar.

Since his debut in ‘Oomai Vizhigal’, Arun Pandian has acted in 99 films. ‘Devan’ his 100th film sees him debuting as a director, apart from producing, scripting and playing the title role. Of a man who avenges the humiliation and brutal murder of his only sister. The action-oriented role suits the actor. As a writer-director too Arun Pandian moves his scenes like a seasoned veteran. An interesting screenplay, with suspense, action, vendetta and patriotism weaved in, the male characters are well-etched, and the female characters given just enough scope to justify their presence in the film. Only that the film is a bit too lengthy and could have been trimmed a little.

Vijaykant makes an impact in the role of the C.B.I. Officer - Ratnavel. Karthik’s live-wire performance as the crafty defence lawyer, more than makes up for his late entry into the narration. Sai Kumar, the popular actor of Malayalam films, enacts the role of the villain ‘Chetta’ Raghu with suavity and panache. Meena is flirtatious and bubbly as the T.V. anchor, while Kausalya fits in well in her part of Devan’s gutsy sister.

The opening scenes of the murder of photographer Jeeva, who realising he is cornered, with presence of mind, positions his video-camera to capture his own killing, sets the tempo for the rest of the happenings. But unfortunately for Jeeva the video fails to capture the killer’s face, the audio is unclear, and later on in the film it takes no time for a smart lawyer to discredit Jeeva’s dying declaration naming Devan as his killer. C.B.I. officer Ratnavel zeroes in on Devan as the killer and apprehends him before he reaches his next target ‘Chetta’, abetted by Jeeva. The discovery of ‘Chetta’s anti-social activities, particularly his indulging in hoarding and black-marketing of food grains and selling them to foreign agents, when millions were facing starvation deaths in places like Orissa, makes a furious Ratnavel join hands with Devan and destroy the traitor. Crafty lawyer Chakravarthy is brought in to defend Devan and destroy the opposition case against him. The scenes of the deaths in Orissa has been well taken, with Oriya actor Asru Mochan Mohanty putting in a creditable performance. Illaiyaraja’s background score enhances the tempo of the narration. 

‘Devan’ is an impressive debut by actor-turned-director Arun Pandian.

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