Rail Review, What’s Behind: Tamil hero Dhanush is a familiar face for Telugu audience. He is known for high experimentation. Prabu Solomon is a staunch nativity follower and realistic director. Along with these two, Keerthy Suresh of ‘Nenu Sailaja’ joined for a train journey. Tamil version ‘Thodari’ is released as ‘Rail’ in Telugu. Let’s join them on ‘Rail’ journey and go forward with the review.
Rail Story: All it begins with DC train set off from Delhi to Chennai. There are 720+ passengers on board including Central Minister (Radha Ravi), a popular heroine Sirisha with mother, NSG Security Commando (Harish Uththaman), Pantry team headed by Chandrakanth (Thambi Ramayya). Then comes love birds, pantry boy Balli Shivaji (Dhanusha) and heroine Sirisha’s touchup girl Saroja (Keerthy Suresh). Loosely central plot actually gets into super fast mode when train driver dies inside the cabin and the speed gets uncontrollable. How Balli Shivaji and Saroja risk their lives to rescue passengers with inputs from central station and special police officer (Ganesh Venkatraman) is rest of the thrill ride.
Rail Artists and Technicians: This is purely a concept based flick sliced between realistic essence and commercial ingredients. Nearly 170 minutes of narration in a moving train is an exhaustive exercise. Prabu Solomon’s idea is unfeigned but script and execution got lot many loopholes. Too many characters, too many sub threads packed together has affected the beautiful romantic tale, loaded with heart touching emotions. Solomon got too much material to parcel in single container leading to unsettled turbulence in the flow. Everything goes half way without a character registration. Each sub thread has got its own value like an egoistic NSG commando striving for revenge, a bunch of thieves on job, opportunist politician, unethical media, an aspiring singer, a sadistic pantry owner, impractically helpless railway officers, inattentive drivers… the list goes on. Bringing congruence between multiple characters within and outside the train isn’t a simple job. Here’s where Solomon’s screenplay and direction went mayhem.
Vetrivel Mahendran’s camera work is substandard. VFX are of the poorest standards. Editing by LV Doss is haphazard. D Imman composed a couple of beautiful melodies and BGM is biggest asset. Vennelakanti’s dialogue translation carried the honesty and mood. Adi Reddy and Aditya Reddy’s production standards are just acceptable.
About artists, Dhanush proves yet again on why he is called the best actor. He seems to have just followed the script and was authentic as pantry boy. His screen presence, comic timing and body language kept me on a drive. More than Dhanush, it’s Keerthy Suresh a show stealer. Believe me, there’s no heroine other than Keerthy who could have fit to the tee as touchup girl. This girl has got one of most expressive faces in Indian cinema. Even simple emotions drawn on her facial features glue us for long. Thambi Ramaiah was irritating and his scenes need a lot to chop. Harish Uththaman is wasted. Radha Ravi suited as politician. Ganesh Venkatraman comes very late. Pantry artists are just ok. Rest is a bag of Tamil faces.
Second Half Thrills
Pre Climax and Climax
170 Minutes Length
Boring First Half
Overplayed Satires on Media
Rail Rating Analysis: As a script, ‘Rail’ is surely a promising attempt. But the way it has been conceived and presented made the whole laborious effort insensitive. Instead of concentrating on half a dozen gripping episodes present in his script, Solomon wasted more than half of time connecting useless material. Many a times, the film lets us down with prolonged interludes. Pacing of the ‘Rail’ is also tad slow. Thambi Ramaiah’s comedy might be an obligation for Tamil viewers but for Telugu audience, there’s a necessity to re-edit them because focus needs to be shifted more on romance and drama between lead pairs.
After a smooth initiation of the train journey, Solomon introduces us to main leads. In between are the exasperating elements placed on Thambi Ramaiah, Radha Ravi, Harish Uththaman and heroine Sirisha begins to test the patience. These scenes are overstretched beyond elasticity limit. Cross state affairs, Telugu heroes Vs Tamil heroes and Telugu heroines Vs Tamil heroines add more to embarrassment. A cumbersome first half ends on a shocking interval block, suddenly accelerating a slow moving goods train into a super fast express.
The way events unfold during second half are thrilling and makes us go edge of seat at few instances. When the going gets great, Solomon killed the feel by blending the extended satires on media. Narration graph goes up and down see-sawing with audience interests. However, the helicopter episode, Dhanush jumping from bogey onto engine, climax mishap, train passing on through a British built bridge etc keep us hooked.
Overall, ‘Rail’ could have been a decent film if unnecessary length is chopped mercilessly. As of now, ride on this ‘Rail’ is full of hiccups. Except for Dhanush and Keerthy’s romantic tale; ‘Rail’ is a soporific expedition. Cinejosh rates the movie with 2.25 stars for its realistic innovativeness. Commercial destination of this ‘Rail’ lot more depends on ‘Majnu’ fate releasing tomorrow.
Rail Cinejosh Verdict: Tiresome Journey.
Rail Cinejosh Rating: 2.25/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas