Rakshasudu movie cast: Bellamkonda Sreenivas, Anupama Parameswaran
Rakshasudu movie director: Ramesh Varma
Rakshasudu movie rating: Three stars
Rakshasudu is the remake of Tamil film Ratsasan. Having seen the original film that came out last year, I did not expect the film to affect me as much as it did the first time. I thought my familiarity with the story and film should make me immune to its gut-wrenching horror. But the second viewing was a bone-chilling experience and disturbing, to say the least.
The story beings with Arun (Bellamkonda Sreenivas) dreaming about becoming a film director. When he wakes up, he’s still an assistant director, on the lookout for a producer to fund his film on a serial killer. After years of struggle, Arun gives in to family pressure and takes up a job with the police department.
Soon after he joins the force, a mysterious kidnapping case begins to haunt Hyderbad cops. With bare minimum clues, Arun comes up with a theory. He tells his senior police officer Lakshmi (Suzane George), that it looks like a serial killer is on the prowl. An egoistic Lakshmi brushes him aside as she thinks he’s overstepping boundaries. Now, Arun has to tackle the tantrums of his superior, while trying to catch the killer.
Rakshasudu (monster) invokes our primal fear and that’s the reason why the film gets to us harder than the first time. The film is not only about the killings of a repressed and insane person. It is mainly about a toxic environment where women can’t live their lives in peace. The psycho killer on the loose is not the only threat to the safety of young girls here. A teacher who uses his position of power to exploit his students. An amoral auto-rickshaw driver who helps one of his regular passengers to target girls. A self-centred top cop who puts her needs above the lives of innocents. And parents, who can’t digest the fact that their children struggle to score in maths, have all contributed in some way in the sufferings of the victims.
The student would have stood up to her abusive teacher if the parents had given her confidence that she won’t be treated with contempt if she failed in her maths test. The victim must have feared her parents more than her creepy teacher, which made her vulnerable to sexual abuse. Another girl escapes from the clutches of a predator only to run into the arms of another predator. Women in this film are constantly under threat. It is just a game called which-predator-gets to-the-victims-first.
Director Ramesh Varma has been very loyal to the material and vision of his compatriot Ram Kumar while making the Telugu remake. It is an almost frame to frame remake as Varma has even matched the camera angles and movements with the original film. The Telugu remake could have avoided the mistakes of the Tamil film, especially a melody number in the middle of a high-stake situation is so illogical.