Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cyanide (2006)

Cyanide (2006)
Featuring: Tara, Ravi Kale, Rangayana Raghu, Avinash, Malavika and others.
Directed by: A.M.R Ramesh

For the past few years Kannada cinema has had to suffer mediocrity. In fact I had written about it on this blog site as well. But this summer in India was refreshingly different. If ‘Rama Shama Bhama’ was the rib tickling delight for Xmas last year then ‘Cyanide’ was the pick of the year for me this summer.

For those who are not aware ‘Cyanide’ revolves around the shocking assassination of India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by hardcore LTTE militants. This was the first time that a human bomb was used to execute the task.

Contrary to popular belief (that is belief of people who have not seen the feature) the movie is not about the causes and effects of the assassination. It neither takes sides on the cold blooded murder that shocked the nation nor does it justify in any way what was done was right or wrong. All it does is showcase the days that followed the killing of Rajiv in Siriperambudur and the day the LTTE militants responsible for the attacks killed themselves in a house in Konanakunte outside Bangalore by consuming cyanide. The leader of the gang Shivarasan backed by Shuba and others were found dead one cold morning when commandos barged into the house. Inspector Kempaiah headed the entire operation along with aid from the CBI officials in Delhi to avoid these hardcore killers from fleeing. As the common news watchers we never knew what exactly happened after the bombing and the day the militants were found dead. ‘Cyanide’ showcases those days with brilliance.

The one thing that hits you immediately while watching ‘Cyanide’ is the brilliant cinematography. Ratnavelu is an upcoming genius of a cinematographer who has worked in Tamil and Telugu films before this has captured the on goings onscreen with such precision that it leaves the viewer dumbfounded. The next best thing which hits our senses is the sleek and polished editing. The manner in which the scenes are stitched together with the appropriate amount of screen time given to each is absolutely amazing. I have not seen many Kannada movies with such laudable editing work. The third and most important aspect which sticks out majestically in ‘Cyanide’ is the glorious background score. For those expecting some hip shaking gyrations here will have to resort to some of Vishnuvardhan’s latest since all one gets here is a treat of mind blowing scores by Sandeep Chowta.

The cherry on top of this beautifully adorned cake is the director – A.M.R. Ramesh. A grand debut by a fine movie maker. His genius is apparent in the way he handles the scenes involving the LTTE militants and the innocent housewife Mrudula and her husband Ranganath. The former Prime Minister is never mentioned by name yet is present in wide audience throughout the movie. Ramesh truly deserves an applause for enriching our cinematic experience with ‘Cyanide’. All the performers shine with special mention to Ranagayana Raghu who underplays the role of Ranganath with enviable precision and Shivarasan’s character Ravi Kale who breathes fire into his role. Tara and Malavika excel in their respective roles and have their moments too.

Some of the scenes that caught my attention and appreciation:

  • Militants barge into Ranganath’s house unannounced much to the shock of the innocent wife Mrudula.

  • Shuba finds her lost self in Chitradurga’s valiant woman warrior Obavva while watching a song on television. The tears in Shuba's eyes narrate a million stories.

  • The dated presentation of the events throughout the movie.

  • Glimpses of the regular and fun filled militants’ lives back in Sri Lanka just before they crack open the cyanide in their mouths.

  • Mrudula requests the police officials to kindly ensure her gas cylinder and stove is returned as they prepare for the final showdown with the militants.

  • ‘Yes. It was a mistake. Killing your Prime Minister in your country was a mistake.’ is Shivarasan’s frank response to Ranganath when asked if killing the former PM was a mistake.

All said and done I can only pray and hope that Ramesh continues to enthrall us quality deprived Kannada movie-goers with such rare treats in the future as well so that we too can get over our ‘Remake Fever’ once and for all.

Thank you – everyone connected with the making of ‘Cyanide’ - for making my summer so special.

I request readers to kindly check out 'Cyanide' movie's official website at


ThoughtPaisa said...

Hey ! Your review is quite comprehensive and I wish I 'd written such a post myself.

Could empathise and appreciate every word of your post.

shakri said...

Thanks thoughtpaisa for the kind words there. Much appreciated.

ThoughtPaisa said...

btw.. what do you DO in venezuela ? Drill for oil ?

shakri said...

No. No such circus for me, thank you. I am into Technology with an American Organization here. Life is good. :)

Jayanth Madhav Barki said...

Hello! Good one. Enjoyed the movie, and quite a comprehensive review there!

shakri said...

Thanks a lot Jayanth. Your response is much appreciated.