After his urban foray in his recent films, Ajith gets to play a rustic character in ‘Veeram’. The film seems more an unabashed tribute to the actor, with every scene moulded to project him in a favourable light. Resorting to almost every cliche in the book, the director banks on the charisma of his hero to pull it through. And Ajith rises to the occasion, carrying the film on his shoulders. It’s his electrifying screen presence and delightful body language that makes the film watchable despite its predictability and a mediocre second half.
It centres on Vinayagam (Ajith) who had brought up his four brothers single-handed. Fearing that a woman in the house would create a rift among them, he had remained a bachelor. His brothers too toed his line, though they had their secret love affairs going. The brothers frequently indulged in fights and led a carefree life.
Though not in trendy costumes (which he gets to sport in song-dance numbers), Ajith manages to carry off his simple white dhoti-shirt outfits with elegance and style. His tone is soft and measured, the punch lines effective. He sports his favourite peppered-look in the first half, while going for a more clean-shaven face after romance beckons and he goes to meet the girl’s family.
At one point Vinayagam’s brothers with their lawyer (Santhanam) plot to kindle love in their brother’s heart. And they zero in on Kopperundevi (Tamannah, more a glamorous prop) as the ideal girl.
The first half moves at an interesting pace, with action, humour and romance judiciously weaved in. If the romantic interludes between the initially reluctant Vinayagam and the girl seem interesting, it is because of Ajith’s panache in handling the moments.
Santhanam keeps the proceedings lively and peppy in the early part. Thambi Ramaiah’s comedy, however, falls flat in the latter part. To win his love, Vinayagam decides to give up his violent ways. Along with his brothers, he visits the girl’s village, the girl’s father (Nasser) a peace loving man. The plot takes a turn here, and the screenplay takes a downslide, mushy and predictable.
The film could have been trimmed to a crisper length. It has an ensemble cast, but no one really makes an impression. Vinayagam’s ‘brothers’ get screen space, but no individual moments to cherish. The stunt choreography is splendid (stunt Shiva), specially the exciting train-fight.
What the film lacks is a strong villain, who would pose a challenge to the hero. Pradeep Rawat as Vinayagam’s rival in the first half, and a grimacing Atul Kulkarni in the second, are mere cardboard villains. Some unintended humour is generated in Nasser’s household, when the hero does a Rambo-in-the-forest act as he dispenses with each goon, hiding his act from Nasser’s eyes. There is a similar rescue act, when rowdies try to corner a little girl. The songs are largely forgetful, though the re-recording blends adequately with the mood.
‘Veeram’ is Ajith’s show all the way. And it has enough to send the actor’s fans into frenzy.