India | 2015 | 106 mins | Tamil, Telugu
Four innocent men find themselves caught up in a web of police corruption in this tense socio-political thriller, based on a real incident that occurred in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, in 1983. The film follows a group of Tamil-speaking migrant workers who are picked up in a police raid and falsely accused of committing a burglary. Unable to understand the local Telugu language, the men are first brutally interrogated then brought before a district court where Muthuvel, a Tamil-speaking police officer, rescues and sets them free. But Muthuvel has his own agenda, using the workers to help abduct a money-laundering private banker. A second interrogation ensues which spirals out of control, and it slowly becomes clear that strings are being pulled by nameless forces far more dangerous than the police. Beautifully filmed but devastating in content, Visaaranai contains scenes of horrific violence which are integral to its structure.
Born in 1975, Vetri Maaran grew up in the small town of Ranipet, Tamil Nadu, where he aspired to become a professional cricketer. Whilst majoring in literature, he realised his true inclination was towards the arts and proceeded to take a course in scriptwriting. Vetri went on to be mentored by acclaimed director Balu and his debut film, Polladhavan, was released in 2007. His second feature was Aadukalam (2011). Vetri is one of a group of like-minded friends in the film industry who wish to bring stories of the downtrodden and voiceless to the fore. “Our idea is not to preach,” he says, “but, we strongly believe that film can influence the society for good or bad. It definitely has an effect on people, and it depends on how the director handles the medium.”