'Veera' movie review: Yet another title of a classic wasted
Gangster films aren’t new to Tamil cinema, and neither is the angle of a corrupted politician, an underdog trying to go up the ranks in the underworld and an unconvincing love track.
Cast: Krishna, Iswarya Menon, Karunakaran, Rajendran, Yogi Babu
The first ten minutes of Veera got me excited, as it explains how associations (mandram), which were once used to plot plans for revolting against the British in the pre-independence era, are now being used as safe houses by criminals under the cover of clubs. But unfortunately, those were the only ten minutes that blew my mind.
Gangster films aren’t new to Tamil cinema, and neither is the angle of a corrupted politician, an underdog trying to go up the ranks in the underworld and an unconvincing love track. Veera is yet another such story, of Veeramuthu (Krishna), who wants to be the head of their local mandram, and his friend Pachamuthu (Karunakaran), who wants to be his deputy. But unfortunately, it’s not your educational qualifications, nor the services you’ve done for the community, that get you the position. You get qualified if you’ve either killed four people or one bigwig—because apparently, that’s how gangsters work.
There isn’t much to talk about performances. But what’s impressive is the research director Rajaraman has put in for ensuring the authenticity of the local baashai. Though we’re familiar with the usage of words such as ‘sketch-u’ and ‘weight-u’ before, it was quite an eyeopener to hear words such as ‘case-u kaaran’, ‘turkey’ (a been-there-seen-that fellow), ‘gaadi’ and ‘terra paiyan’ (a toddler). They’ve even placed a scene in an atho shop!
While we’re at words, let me make it clear that the film holds nothing back when it comes to cuss words. Whenever any of the characters go on a rant, they use a slew of unparliamentary language and for some reason, they haven’t been beeped out either. That’s probably the reason for the A certificate. In one particular scene, Sketch Sekar (played by Radha Ravi), who has now renounced his bad ways to become a godman with the moniker Mall Murugan, blurts out ‘o*** queue-le va da’ when one of his followers breaks a line, only to get back into character again and say, ‘Varisayil vaarungal’.
It was one of the few moments I actually laughed in the film, which should’ve been a comical treat considering that it has a host of comedians. Though Thambi Ramaiah, Rajendran and Yogi Babu have some funny names such as Ezhukinaru Ezhumazhai, Jonty Rhodes and Jambulingam aka Jithesh, they don’t get good screen space.
Considering how much they’ve tried to keep things authentic, it’s disheartening to see Veeramuthu and Pachamuthu don branded tees despite not even having a roof over their head. But that’s the least of the problems for Veera. Isn’t it about time we were done with slow-mo shots of heroines smiling despite not doing anything just because it’s their intro scene?
On the brighter side, Veera might just be Leon James’s best album till date. While Verrattaama Verratturiye and Pogaadhey Kanmaniye are the peoples’ pick, my favourite is the wacky Ootaanda Soltuvaa sung by the composer himself. On the whole, while it can be appreciated for not indulging in hero-worship, Veera doesn’t really work thanks to an uninteresting script.