Velaikaran Tamil Movie Review
As Sivakarthikeyan's graph as a 'mass' hero ascends, he makes sure to choose the right titles for his movies. 'Velaikkaran', though the title of the 1980s Rajini starrer more than justifies its theme, it cannot be more obvious for a leading actor to flaunt his status as "arrived".
A rejuvenated Mohan Raja, after the success of 'Thani Oruvan' a few years back has once again collaborated with Subha to come up with a mainstream masala. The movie though had a lofty theme and appealing mass scenes, it hasn't quite scaled up to the heights of his previous blockbuster in terms of the plot and narrative.
The story is about Arivu (Sivakarthikeyan) who resides in a slum and determines to take down Kasi (Prakash Raj), the local goon, who hampers any semblance of progress to the slum and dwellers. He uses them to settle his scores. When Arivu almost manages to take down Kasi, he discovers that not only Kasi but he himself is part of a bigger malaise, that leverages modern consumerism and "evolved needs" of people. He fights the system and wins like many other mass heroes!
Straight off the bat, it is a masala which was decently done, at least for the first half. The introduction for the leading guy came through with an uncanny scene where he is shown to literally beg the goon of the slum, seeking his permission to operate a local community radio. Then, comes the mass number, "Karuthavellaam gali jaa..." which sort of neutralized the uncanny introduction.
In another scene, which happened to be the only action block for SK, he beats goons by thinking of the person he hates the most (Kasi, again). Overall, it was some sort of a relief to see a mass hero who is not unorthodox or maybe it's time that mass heroes are coming of age, thereby redefining "mass".
In comes Adhi (a superb Fahadh Faasil), who is street smart and thinks off his feet. Though he could be taken as an Aravind Swamy equivalent of a handsome villain, his role deteriorates towards the climax and comes across as a run-of-the-mill baddie who gets a royal defeat with the hero's tactical moves. A clear case of bad writing.
Nayanthara as 'Mrinalini' should forget this outing. The only reason for roping her could have been 'sample marketing', as referred in the context of the movie's plot.
Rohini and Charlie as SK's parents were a refreshing combo who were naturals in their own capacity. Sneha as the "woman with a mission" sort of a role was quite impressive. Vijay Vasanth in a supporting role as a henchman with some conscience makes a brief stay before being made to bear the cross.
There were a ton of known faces like Thambi Ramaiah, Robo Shankar, Y.G. Mahendran, Sathish, RJ Balaji, Aruldoss, Ramadoss who were given some brief moments to make the proceedings interesting.
Though the movie had a sound theme that resonates well with the current consumerist attitude of the society at large, the movie takes the 'transformation-in-a-day' approach which was far-fetched and very ambiguous.
It gives an optimistic appeal like any mainstream movie, but it does it with hardly any believability. Its quite funny to witness an entire flock of workforce getting transformed at the drop of a hat when one of their colleagues approaches them, up in arms.
The second half especially dragged, at least for the last 30 minutes where logic was forsaken for sensationalized heroics. This was the area where a movie like 'Thani Oruvan' scored, where two individuals were pitted against each other. Here, that magic was lost.
Songs, cinematography and editing were fine. Technically the film was good, without unnecessary graphics or songs.
The movie is a one-time watch for its sheer entertainment value and can also be lauded for taking up a contemporary issue that has cropped up due to globalization and an avaricious consumer market. A decent job!