Draupathi, the 2020 crowdfunded film, directed by Mohan G was both celebrated by a section of the audience and strongly criticised widely for its portrayal of the patriarchy and its take on caste violence. But in spite or because of the attention generated by the backlash, the film had a dream run at the box office, becoming a surprise sleeper hit. The director’s next film, Rudra Thandavam has a tagline: it takes a thorn to remove a thorn. The film was in the news recently for a casting coup with Gautham Vasudev Menon playing an important character in the film. The trailer of the film dropped today.
It opens with Rudra Prabhakar (Richard Rishi), a cop from Dharmapuri, cracking down on some youngsters partying with a girl. He beats them up and we get a shot of him saying that the drug culture that’s now prevalent in the state is especially dangerous to girls. They could be duped by boys, Rudra says.
Gautham Vasudev Menon appears to be playing a character with negative shades. He inquires about the new police inspector cautiously over the phone. His character beats a few people up and mouths expletives. And then we get to what’s probably going to be the central conflict of the film: a protest is staged against police brutality, a boy has been beaten up to death, and Rudra Prabhakar is the accused. A character even tells Rudra that “everyone in the city has labelled you a caste-fanatic.” An effigy of his is burnt. Another character suggests that he has been falsely framed.
The proceedings shift to a court where Radha Ravi’s character argues that the Protection of Civil Rights Act cannot be applied to a person who has converted to Christianity, suggesting that questions of caste are going to play a central role in Rudra Thandavam too. A character even suggests that people wouldn’t convert out of Hinduism if they knew that they couldn’t use their caste identity anymore legally.
Near the end of the trailer, Rudran and Gautham Vasudev Menon’s character appear to be having a friendly chat before the trailer ends with Rudra Prabhakar asking: why this dirty politics? The film appears to pick up the same caste-related questions that Draupathi dealt with, in a different context.
Cinematography is by Farook J Basha, music by Jubin and editing by Devaraj S. Produced by GM Film Corporation and 7G Films, directed by Mohan G, and starring Richard Rishi, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Radha Ravi and Dharsha, Rudra Thandavam will release theatrically later this year.