Vettai

Actors: Arya, Madhavan, Ashutosh Rana, Sameera Reddy, Amala Paul
Genre: Action-comedy
Rating:
2.5/5

Brothers will relate to this movie more than the women-folk. Just saying. Opening scene: Two little boys are engaged in a kite-fight, and one ends up losing . The boy who lost is bullied, but decides to get the better of the bully with the help of his..err..younger brother. This scene is a microcosm of the plot to a major extent. The plot penned by Brinda Sarathy is about a younger brother Gurumurthy (Arya) helping his timid elder brother Thirumurthy (Madhavan) find his self-confidence to lead a fearless life ahead. On Guru’s insistence a timid Thiru takes up the job of a cop, but is shadowed by Guru always while beginning to subdue the local goons. Rest of the story is about how situations force Thiru to man up and take down the local goons forever.

PERFORMANCES:
Clearly Arya has the meatier role, with a range of emotions to portray. Arya as Guru is comparable to the small-town-hoodlum he has played more often than not in the recent past. Arya still has two left feet and Choreographer Raju Sundaram could make him look only so good. Arya’s charm with the ladyfolk is visibly underwhelming. His comic timing is nice, and is greatly complemented by his diction.  Overall he come across as the stereotypical mass hero who knows how to slam the baddies and deliver punch dialogues. Madhavan plays Arya’s second fiddle, and his hard work is there to see. It was new to see Madhavan ham his way through, unnecessarily scream to make a scene look “high voltage”. An overweight Madhavan, panting and perspiring in trying to match dance steps with Arya is another negative, or may I say, a plus in an attempt to look second-rate? Method acting, anyone?

Vettai is Ashutosh Rana’s first outing as a baddie in Kollywood. Given his repertoire, there are no complaints about his goondaisms, his ability to evoke chills, esp in the climax (or weak moments for the protagonists), are his main credentials. It’s always a challenge for a non-native (esp someone not from the South) to do the lip sync and emote at the same time. Very few folks are successful at this and Ashutosh is that bucket. Sameera Reddy as the small-town girl/housewife opposite Madhavan is more bearable this time around. Prancing around like an aging horse, and shooting her mouth off against Arya are the only two things one can remember of her after this film. In comparison, Amala Paul opposite Arya is better than Sameera. Amala dances better (isn’t why she is in the film in the first place?), and bats her eyelids for the most part when not PDA’ing with Arya.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS:
Sounds superfluous but Director Lingusamy has spun a time-tested script, his version if you will. Backdrop set, story set, characters established, the peripheral details had to be fined tuned to make this film look ‘different’, but there is only so much effort. Lingusamy has done exactly what the other commercial-success-seeking Directors do, by creating a one size fits all product. In trying to appease every single audience member from the front benchers to the balcony he has incorporated every single commercial element into the film. Then there’s his amusing fixation all over – pyro. For some odd reason you see fireworks in the sky in every outdoor night scene in the second half of the film, and then the goons are always setting people up on fire. Talking about amusement, a wheelchair-borne Thiru (injured after being hit by the goons), and locked in a caged basketball field, on seeing his brother Guru being smashed by the goons, gets up from the wheelchair after trying really, really hard. Now comes the kicker- he climbs up the entire cage wall (exactly like a WWE wrestler rescuing himself out of a hell-in-a-cell cage fight). Semma comedy. Needless to add, hero Arya repeatedly proves he can lay to rest 20 fighters almost all once, his roundhouse kick sends people flying, so on and so forth. If someone copyrighted these specific masala elements in films (say stunts seen in every other film), it would easily put the Lingusamys and the Puri Jagannaths out of work. I could just go on and on. The screenplay is a joke and you don’t want to go there.

Why 2.5/5:
The good: Mild doses of humour, somewhat good performances by Arya and Madhavan and Ashutosh Rana, Cinematography, punch dialogues

The bad: An overweight Madhavan, Madhavan’s hamming, predictable screenplay, below average music

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  • "What is this..movie reviews and all? Chaa!! Do you ever think outside films?" - if this is exactly what you are itching to ask, may I interest you in my other blog Sandeepish?
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