Film: Velainu Vandhuta Vellaikaran
Cast: Vishnu, Nikki Galrani, Soory, Robot Shankar, Ashwin, Rajendran, Ravi Maria.
Like many of his contemporaries, Vishnu too has turned producer. And his debut production venture Velainu Vandhuta Vellaikaran is a comic caper. It’s not that the actor hasn’t tackled the genre earlier.
Quite a few of his films like Mundasupatti (2014) were breezy entertainers with a lot of humour. But they were subtle and had a contemporary feel. This film, over-the-top, noisy and depending heavy on dialogue, gives one the feel of watching a stage play.
Also, with many characters indulging in a game of one-upmanship, Vishnu’s character towards the latter part seems to be lost in their midst.
It centers round carefree and easy going Murugan, who botches up the tasks he takes. Vishnu is adequate in his role, not having to strain much.
Ezhil’s screenplay no doubt is neatly etched, the various segments integrated well as a whole. The narrative style is simplistic. It’s divided into various segments, each with its own set of characters, and with their own mission.
On one track is Murugan, with Sakkarai his constant companion (Soory). At times it seems that Sakkarai gets to do more than the hero with his own love track to boot! Soory peps up the scenario with his ‘Pushpa’ act. But at times, his nonstop banter becomes a little too much to take.
There is Murugan’s love angle where he falls for Archana, an aspiring cop. Pert and pretty, Nikki Galrani gets to do some fight scenes in the earlier part and lights up the scenario. But after a while she too is relegated to the background. On another track is an ageing politician (Vittal), his protege Janakiraman and the latter’s rival (Narein).
The politician on his death bed tells his protege where he had hidden his illegally gotten Rs 5oo crores. Murugan had given Janakiraman a sum of money as a bribe to get his lady love into the police force. And Sakkarai had his own problem, which only Janakiraman could have solved.
But Janakiraman (Robot Shankar) sought by various people, loses his memory in an accident, his mental age turning to that of a ten year old. Robot Shankar gets a lot of screen space and to fall in with the mood of the film, goes overboard with his act.
And it’s not just he, but all the actors involved who play to the gallery. Robot gets a good scene where Ravi Maria who plays the politician’s relative (and plays his character to the hilt) tries to get him tell him the location of the money.
But this scene is extended to such a length that it is a tad overdone. The songs and background score are just about passable.
The plot had the potential to appeal to all sections of audiences. But the director has given more importance to content than form and style.
The film seems longer than it’s running time of about 136 minutes. More like a stage drama in its etching and narrative style, the film seems to be targeted at the lowest common denominator in the audience.