Vivegam Review – Vivegam is a Tamil Action film released in 2017. AK is part of a secret agent team that is on a rescue mission for a console that can trigger an underground weapon to cause mass destruction.
Well, there has been a lot of negative reviews downpouring on this one. I watched this after all the expectations died down. Here is my neutral take on the movie. Vivegam coming from Director Siva I did not have many expectations as I did not quite like Veeram or Vedaalam. However, Vivegam teaser was quite impressive as it promised to be an out and out action movie. Ajith’s physical transformation added more reasons to watch this one. Although there were many loopholes and weak points in the script this one appealed to me better than Veeram and Vedalam.
Ajith carries the movie on his shoulder throughout. His physical transformation and his performance where he has to interrogate the villains mercilessly he scores high. The action sequences, editing, and cinematography has been done very well. Kudos to Siva and team for having pulled an out and out action entertainer with a high production quality. The chase sequence involving Akshara Haasan is one of the high points in the movie that would keep you engaged.
Hero worship and the force-fitted tale of romance have made the screenplay weak. In many sequences, unless you are an ardent Ajith fan you would be like “Really?”. The first five minutes of the opening sequence is a great example of this. The majority of the audience would have been lost by then. Thanks to the engaging first half which kind of compensates for the damage done. The family and emotional angle could have certainly been avoided as it slowed down the pace of the story. Kajal’s character looks so disconnected from the movie. Vivek Oberoi is new kind of villain who overpraises the hero to have a kick in defeating him. But this has certainly not worked in the movie. The last climax fight sequence, the director has tried to recreate the effect the Dhool climax with a song in the background. This too hasn’t worked well as you don’t emotionally connect with the scene.
Overall Vivegam stands out from the normal masala movies for its high-quality action sequences and good production value but suffers from weak characterization. You might enjoy this one when played on TV.
Wait for TV/DVD
Theri Review – Theri is a Tamil action film released in 2016. Joseph Kuruvilla lives with his daughter in a remote Kerala Village. He always stays away from fights or disputes. But circumstances lead him to pick up a tiff with the local don and in the course his original identity Vijaykumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police is exposed.
Vijay has gone back to his comfort zone after his experimentation with fantasy adventure Puli. This time, he has joined hands with director Atlee after his successful first venture Raja Rani. When a successful filmmaker gets to direct a successful mass hero there is a huge burden to please the fans of the star. Only a few directors like Shankar, Mani Ratnam have been able to stay focused on the script and deliver an appealing product both to the fans and general audience. Atlee doesn’t fall into that category. He has struggled to find his story in the commercial entertainer. In the end, it happens to be an out and out Vijay’s mass masala movie which has all the minimum guarantee elements for success but would be a forgettable one in the long run.
The movie reminds one of many blockbusters in Kollywood and Hollywood. It has influence from Baasha. Baasha seems to be a milestone for Kollywood like how The Godfather is for Hollywood. It is still inspiring movie makers. Then there are influences from Yennai Arindhal and the directors own Raja Rani and finally, there are glimpses of The Dark Knight Trilogy. In the scenes which mimic the dark knight movies, you will find Vijay modulating his voice as well like Batman :). If you have seen all these movies and is not a Vijay fan then you won’t find anything appealing in the movie. If you are an ardent Vijay fan then there are more opportunities for you to whistle throughout.
For me, the best part of the movie is the romance portion between Vijay and Samantha. It does bring a different face of Vijay which we don’t get to see much. He tries to be a hero who can also cry just out of emotion. That’s new for a mass hero movie. The comedy during these portions has also turned out well. Where he describes the outcome of the fight before fighting is definitely enjoyable. Atlee’s core strength is in this area which he had utilized well in Raja Rani. Mottai Rajendran has a new role of being a sidekick to the heroes previously in Vedalam and now in Theri. I personally would like to see him as a fearsome Villain or in comic roles like Ghost Gopal Varma than seeing him flattering the hero. The biggest surprise of the movie is Director Mahendran donning the role of the Villain. Years of experience is seen in his acting. I would have loved a build-up portion for the villain rather than him just jumping in and only targeting Vijay.
High Points: The romance portion between Vijay and Samantha, Visuals and production quality, Comedy sequences in the flashback, Director Mahendran playing Villain.
Low Points: The overall movie might only appeal to hardcore Vijay fans as they have been generous in creating masala elements.
Overall Theri is created to appeal to the Vijay fans worldwide. It just increases Vijay’s mass masala template movies by one rather than standing out. If you are not a Vijay fan then you can watch it when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV
Vedalam Review – Vedalam is a Tamil action drama released in 2015. Ganesh comes to Calcutta with his sister to give her admission into a prestigious art institute. He leads a simple life and is a pleasant company to many. But there is untold dark side to him, not known to others.
The hero is so good and straight forward person you suspect something is going to break. Something breaks and exposes a contrasting personality within him. Now you try to justify the contrasting badass personality by giving a purpose to it and then you want to see the hero win. This is a tried and tested formula for many commercial movies. Baasha being the one which started it all. Then we had seen many movies which were wannabe Baasha’s. Vedalam is one to be added to the list that is entirely banking upon Ajith’s stardom.
The movie has some interesting sequences in parts and it is enjoyable during those sequences. But then the movie falls into the trap of lack of direction, with some cliched emotional drama coming rescue making it an average affair. Ajith’s screen presence is a big strength for the movie. The initial sequences in Kolkatta are enjoyable. The most enjoyable portion of the movie is the character of Vedalam which appears in the flashback. Ajith has changed his body language and dialogue delivery which has worked out well. Lakshmi Menon has a significant role in the movie. Shruthi Hassan just adds in glamour quotient and just becomes the reason for Ajith revealing the flashback.
High Points: Ajith’s screen presence, The characterization of Vedalam, Comedy sequences
Low Points: High voltage emotional drama which looks cliched. The entire climax sequence looks too easy for Ajith compared to the introduction the Villain had.
Overall Vedalam suffers from the common phenomenon of all the mass entertainers of falling into ordinary cliches. This movie is still watchable for Ajith’s performance. Unless you are a hardcore Ajith fan you might enjoy watching this when played on TV.
Wait for DVD/TV