Quick Review: Raatchasi

by Rinku Gupta
Raatchasi is a Dream Warrior Pictures film starring Jyotika directed by Sy Gautamraj.

The film deals with the story of Geetarani ( Jyotika) who is the new headmistress of a run down goverment school in the village of Pudur. When she takes over, the school is in bad shape with no discipline, no proper teaching by staff, ramshackle facilities and rampant negligence and corruption.
Encouraged by her father, she takes over and rules with an iron hand, gaining enemies but turning the school into a haven for students, creating opportunities for them to excel in.
What happens when she runs into a greedy private school owner forms the rest of the story.

The director has chosen a good subject to work on and the focus on education is commendable. The teachers and kids have all acted well, doing what's required, keeping us invested in the proceedings.

But the film is a one woman show and though Jyotika breathes and lives her part all through, one wishes she could have been given a larger variety of expressions to work with instead of the stern look, supplemented by a smiling  and sift one intermittently. She shines in the army background portions looking every inch the officer and the scene  she breaks down is moving.

The problems and thier solutions seem too predictable at times even though they do evoke emotions in various places, especially when the students get thier due and prove themselves.
Poornima Bhagyaraj is not given a larger role on the proceedings as ine would expect, which serves as a dampener. One does wonder where are schools where the Headmistress asks students to call her by her name, as Geetarani does in the film.
With an actor like Jyotika at the helm, one cant help but wish the material had been worked upon with more detailing than just simplistic solutions and effective one liner dialogues.

But overall the message to provide a level playing field and equal opportunities for all kids regardless of  strata, comes through in an inspirational manner. A telling eye opener on the educational system and its high potential to hone talent especially in rural areas, the film deserves a wide screening in various institutions and social service bodies. A commendable effort by producers Dream Warriors and by Jyotika to take a much -needed message to the masses. Like Geetarani says, if teachers do thier job well, there will be less work for police later as students will take to a constructive life instead of becoming anti- social elements as school drop outs. In another dialogue she points out that a healthy body doesnt need a doctor, only the sick one does. So to,its upto the teachers to actually use thier teaching skills and help the students who are unable to grasp lessons and really need thier aid, and help them do well.  Jyotika for her part has carried the film on her shoulders with consummate ease, in a mass role, which will be one more meaningful film  in her second innings.  

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