Sasikumar who brought in a new method of story telling in Tamil films with Subramaniapuram and Nadodigal is back with Easan and this time around he has spun his story in an urban milieu. Supporting him in this enterprise is producer AL Azhagappan, Kaja Moideen, Samudirakani, Malayalam director Blessy along with Vaibhav, Abinaya and others. Although the premise in Easan is urban, its quintessential sensibilities are very definitely bucolic and Sasikumar’s gimlet-eyed exploration of the subject warrants a special mention
Chezhian (Vaibhav) is the son of politician Deivanayagam (AL Azhagappan) and is exactly like one speckled with vices. He falls in love with Reshma (Aparna), the daughter of a business tycoon from Karnataka. Deivanayagam agrees to this match with an ulterior motive and that’s when Chezhian goes missing. The trail to Chezhian is what Easan is all about that has been narrated in a riveting manner in the second half.
The film opens with ‘Inda Iravu Daan Pogude’ number (nicely done) which is followed by the chase of a lone girl in a two-wheeler by a group of drunken boys in the middle of the night which leads to her death. The story further unfurls with the boys being taken into custody by the police and Vaibhav aiding them with a helpless ACP Sangaiya (Samudirakani) as a mute spectator.
Further on, the film moves with the various power games played by the politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen dotted with the pubs of city life, rave parties and hookah joints. Sasikumar also throws in the frolic of lower strata with the ‘jilla vittu jilla’ number.
The tight grip that Sasikumar has on his audience for the first few minutes slackens slowly and the rest of the 1st half is filled with events and characters that leave you with wonder as to what the director wants to convey. Sasi has you in perplexity as to what the genre of the film is going to be – whether it is a political battle or a societal theme. The slow and ambiguous narration also tests the endurance levels of the audience. However, he makes up for all these in the second half where the film picks up momentum and zooms through with an intense climax.
The specialty about Easan is there is no hero, there is no heroine or for that matter there is not a single character that monopolizes the screen. And more so, there is a surprise package in the identity of Easan which is new to Tamil cinema. There are some appealing twists and there is an interesting aspect of cyber hacking too.
All the characters have done their part with good understanding. Samudirakani, Azhagappan, Namo Narayana and Blessy stand out and there is not much to explore for Vaibhav and Abhinaya. Wonder what the director has against Silambarasan to show a character and a voice like him in the pub with a heroine in hand.
The Jilla Vittu number is an unnecessary intrusion and does not help the film in anyway except to give the audience their break. The first half, barring the first few minutes, is a non-linear presentation. On the technical side, cameraman Kadhir, editor Ramesh, music director James Vasanthan have worked in tandem with the film.
Through Easan, Sasikumar has attempted to convey the dangers of city life when not dealt with carefully and it could also ring in a warning to people who take things lightly. For those who feel the anachronism in rape followed by suicide, the director has given his answer through the origin of his characters. If Sasi has pruned some of the sequences, Easan would have been a riveting offering.
Verdict: An urban dark tale