Gilli, story wise, is neither fresh popcorn nor spicy samosa found in theaters.. but the screenplay and overall treatment is as fresh and appetizing as full meals after a long day. You better believe it, if you are a Masala film or Vijay fan, you will lap this up in a jiffy.
What brings Vijay (Saravana Velu, aka Ghilli), a kabbadi pro, and Trisha (Dhanalakshmi), a hapless lass caught between her downtrodden family and a vile, tempestuous and absolutely obsessed Prakashraj (Muthupandi) together forms the crux of the story. But "Ghilli" is purely a visual treat from start to finish, what with car/van chases, running, swimming, jumping, pulling, pushing and just about any other '-ings' you can do in the name of stunt sequences. Director Dharani, whose previous outings include "Dhill" and "Dhool," both Vikram starrers, has grasped the details of the Telugu original story and screenplay of "Okkadu" and fashioned a Tamil remake that showcases Vijay's talents and builds his 'star' image even further. No wonder Dharani is considered such hot property in Kodambakkam today.
Vijay's character here is more down to earth and one that digests the good and bad easily. He does his comic shtick (if it can be called that!) by fooling his father, Ashish Vidyarthi, the strict police officer dad, his vulnerably naive mother, Janaki Sabesh, and a sharp, yet helpless, sister, Baby Jennifer. He dances, prances and delights his street friends with kabbadi and his "Gilli" Ghaana song. He focuses his sharp eyes and touches his index finger and thumb and rolls them in anticipation of oppositon. He looks (like a million bucks) perfect in the role of Saravana Velu. Don't let the trailer fool you, Vijay has done his homework this time. It's not an image changing role, but a strong image boosting one and he does his share to make it a reality.
Rakki Rajesh's stunt work is almost impeccable here and Gopinath's crisp cinematography captures these scenes very realistically. Amongst the technicians, V.T.Vijayan's editing responsibilities need to be highlighted, as he makes sure that the film doesn't sag too much. Art and Set Director Maniraj's quality of work is questionable though. The beautiful terrace and the adjoining lighthouse are thoughtful structures, but any average joe could spot the presence of a set here. The awkward special effects, especially where Vijay jumps from one building to another, the fireflies in the "Sha la la" Trisha solo song, lacked professionalism, considering a lot of "Ghilli's" budget was spent on producing a technically superior film. Trisha has nothing much to do except run, hide, cry, smile, sing and dance (mostly what heroines have been doing effectively since the birth of cinema! :-). Unfortunately, her skin and bones look also leaves a lot to be desired. The much hyped Vinodraj (Actor Vikram's father in real life) has nothing much to do either. The other real hero, besides Vijay, has to be Prakashraj. It's no surprise that he wins National Awards at the blink of an eye every year. Though he is often accused of hamming and overacting, he does it with class! Every time he yells out "Chellam," the chills invariably goes down your spine (and Trisha's too!). His "I LOVE YOU" declaration to Trisha is one of the brightest moments in acting by a villain in recent time. Kudos Raj!..
So, grab some popcorn, a good friend or relative (a Vijay fan would be the icing on the cake!), sit back, relax and watch "Ghilli" comfortably at your local theater. Oh, by the way, leave your noodle at home.. you don't have any use for it as logic is not part of the "Ghilli" equation! :-)
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