Hari's Reviews

Hari's reviews on books, movies, television and more

Baasha (1995)

Created: Sat Mar 20 21:03:57 2010 | Last modified: Sat Mar 20 21:18:56 2010

Rating: ********--

Year: 1995
Language: Tamil
Starring: Rajnikanth, Nagma, Raghuvaran
Direction: Suresh Krishna
Music: Deva


Maanickam (Rajnikanth) is a peace-loving, kind-hearted autorickshaw driver living with his step-mother and her son and daughters. Life goes on smoothly as he helps his siblings settle down in life, until a combination of circumstances forces him to reveal his darker past. What follows is a flashback sequence where we see Maanick "Baasha" battle the forces of Mark Anthony (Raghuvaran) - a formidable leader of the underworld.

The movie moves at a good pace as the tension builds up in the first half. The sequences are well-conceived and grip the attention of the viewer. After the flashback into the past, the return to the present is a bit of a let-down though as the final showdown is far too rushed and doesn't carry too much punch. However, the end product is satisfactory from the point of view of the audience as it manages to sustain the level of interest throughout. Narration doesn't flag at any point.

Rajnikanth excels in a serious role while Raghuvaran does a good job as the suave Bombay don. The dialogues carry punch and the actors are all involved in the storyline in one way or the other. The movie has very few superfluous scenes and a tight script. One of the few criticism of this movie would be the way the world of an underworld don is portrayed. It's a bit too stylized and glamourized. Again some of the song sequences do take a bit away from the smooth-flowing nature of the movie. Finally, due to the dominance of Rajnikanth, most of the actors are left without much to do and there's a slight sense of hollowness and unreality about the whole movie, particularly in view of the promising first half. Just one example of this would be the role of the police officer who first identifies Maanickam as "Baasha" from the past. That particular thread of the plot is a bit of a disappointment as one would have expected something more to develop out of it. There are similar such instances of plot threads which never really develop. One imagines that this might be a product of the structure of the main storyline which really doesn't allow other characters to develop or grow as the movie proceeds.

Overall, this is a thoroughly enjoyable gangster action movie and eminently watchable.