I watched Ratchan, the Tamil dubbed version of Nagarjuna’s Telugu film The Ghost. In many ways, the film feels like a hybrid of two Tamil movies that released recently — Kamal Haasan’s Vikram and Thalapathy Vijay’s Beast. The Ghost borrows some good and many bad moments from the two films.
Director Praveen Sattaru’s story revolves around an Interpol officer Vikram (Nagarjuna).
His childhood trauma drives him to take down the underworld, which is terrified of him and calls him the ‘Ghost’. After several years of separation, Vikram's estranged sister (Gul Panag) and her daughter (Anikha Surendran) return to his life. He is tasked to save them from an impending danger.
The action sequences in The Ghost are remarkable. There are several moments that leave you engrossed.
With guns firing, swords slashing, blood splashing and heads rolling, the film scores when it comes to making the stunts believable.
Sonal Chouhan, who features as a colleague-cum-lover of Nagarjuna, shines bright.
The Ghost marries an action thriller with an emotional family drama. The film delves into corporate politics and traces the journey of a rogue cop with the underworld as the backdrop.
As much as Vikram's niece's tantrums are absurd, his methods to discipline her are equally so. He literally uses a gun to stop her from being a brat!
Ignoring the fact that the dubbed versions of films generally lose their essence, Ratchan, the Tamil version of The Ghost, still doesn’t feel like an original Tamil movie. I feel it is because of the politics addressed by Tamil cinema in recent years, which tries to be progressive in every way possible.
For instance, Vikram’s psychiatrist is Dr Iyer, and Anu runs the Nair trading company. If you observe, these are caste markers which are unnecessary and don’t serve any purpose to drive the plot. While one could argue that 'The Ghost is not an anti-caste film for us to look at it so critically or it's just a harmless reference, I feel it is essential to recognise that doing away with these markers is a tiny step towards being progressive — just like what contemporary filmmakers like Pa Ranjith or Vetrimaaran are constantly trying to do.
Overall, Nagarjuna impresses us with his style and swag but the rest of the characters and the screenplay, not so much.
The Ghost is running in cinemas now.