Review: Fight Club

Fight Club is not your regular run-of-the-mill entertainer. It requires careful and patient viewing and an empathetic mind to see what is being highlighted.

Fight club review

Movie: Fight Club
Cast: Vijay Kumar, Kaarthekeyen Santhanam, Shankar Thas, Avinash Raghudevan and Monisha Mohan Menon among others
Director: Abbas A Rahmath
Music : Govind Vasantha
Cinematographer : Leon Britto
Rating: 3.5 stars

Abbas A Rahmath, who makes his debut as a director with Fight Club, seems to have picked a very difficult story to tell.

However, despite the difficulties associated with narrating such a tricky story, he manages to emerge victorious, delivering an intense, explosive action entertainer.

Yes, Fight Club is not your regular run-of-the-mill entertainer. It requires careful and patient viewing and an empathetic mind to see what is being highlighted. If one does that, one will be able to realise that the film has been made with the intention of highlighting the difficult lives that boys who live in North Chennai lead.

The story of Fight Club is one of hope, betrayal and revenge.

It all starts with a good-hearted soul called Benjamin (Kartheekeyan Santhanam) hoping to make it big in sports.

Benjamin, a talented sportsman from North Chennai, fervently hopes that his sporting skills will fetch him a government job. The job, he believes, will help him raise not only his standard of living but also those from his region.

However, that is not to be. Undeterred, he decides to turn a mentor to young boys in the region and encourages them to pursue a sporting career that could possibly get them out of the hell that they currently reside in.

The young kids of the poverty-stricken region look up to Benjamin for guidance, in the hope that he will one day make their lives better.

It is under these circumstances that one day Benjamin is killed by Kiruba, a merciless and vicious drug dealer from the region. Sadly, it is Benjamin’s own younger brother Joseph (Avinash Raghudevan) who helps Kiruba commit the crime.

Both Joseph and Kiruba have the same mindset. They are both ruthless opportunists, who can manipulate and mislead others into committing crimes for them.

Initially, while committing the crime, both Joseph and Kiruba are good pals. However, Kiruba betrays Joseph and escapes the law by making the latter the scapegoat.

Joseph serves a jail sentence for Benji’s murder even as Kiruba grows in stature. Kiruba goes on to become a powerful politician while Joseph rots in jail. By the time, Joseph completes his jail term and gets released from prison, several years have passed.

Bitter and angry, Joseph seeks revenge and looks to settle scores with Kiruba. However, he knows he stands no chance against Kiruba, who is now a powerful politician.

So, Joseph decides to use Kiruba’s strategy against him. He decides to manipulate a hot-headed youngster from the poverty-stricken region against Kiruba, just like how Kiruba used him to eliminate his brother Benjamin.

Carefully scouting the region, he comes across Selva (Vijaykumar), a hot-headed but immensely talented sportsperson, whose career as a footballer ended with Benji’s death.

Gauging Selva’s anger against Kiruba, he decides to pit Selva against Kiruba. How he does it is what Fight Club is all about.

Abbas A Rahmath makes a sincere effort to tell a very difficult story. And that sincerity shows. It is not just Rahmath who seems to have worked his heart out in this film. Almost every character and craftsman associated with this film seems to have really dug in deep into their resources to make this film.

It is evident that the unit has given this film their all. The stunt sequences stand testimony to this fact. In particular, some of the sequences that happen in the second part are just spectacular.

The second half of the film moves at a blistering pace, with several developments taking place by the minute.

Almost all lead actors in this film deliver commendable performances. Vijay Kumar, who has earned a reputation for being a part of only meaningful films, keeps that reputation intact with Fight Club. He delivers a neat and convincing performance.

Kartheekeyan Santhanam, who plays Benjamin, delivers such a fine performance that when his character dies in the film, it has your sympathy. Shankar Thas, who plays Kiruba, and Avinash Raghudevan, who plays Joseph, also impress.

Cinematographer Leon Britto seems to have worked as hard as the director, if not more, in this film. There are some action sequences in which it is evident that the cameraman is also running along with those involved in the action sequences. The commitment of the cinematographer is just awe-inspiring.

Govind Vasantha’s music is fantastic.

If viewed with disinterest, Fight Club may come across just as a simple, loud, noisy action film. However, if one takes time to patiently observe, analyse and piece the intricate details that are provided, one will find Fight Club to be a fantastic, deep and meaningful film that showcases treachery, opportunism, manipulation and revenge.