Naane Varuvan Tamil Movie
A dual role for Dhanush, which happens to be his third after 'Kodi' and 'Pattaas', and the one that unites him with his brother director Selvaraghavan after a decade - 'Naane Varuven' has arrived audaciously along with a heavyweight like 'PS-1'. While the movie garnered a decent pre-release buzz, it carried the tag as that of a budget movie. This largely meant that it ought to be content driven. Director Selva's recent record as a director has not been great. Can the brothers pull this one off which is also a movie about brothers?
'Naane Varuven' is a supernatural thriller revolving around the lives of twins 'Kathir' and 'Prabhu' (Dhanush playing the dual role). The story has a semblance of 'Aalavandhaan', with one of the twins being evil and the other one leading a tame and timid life. When Prabhu's daughter is possessed by the ghost of another kid, Prabhu goes on a hunt to retrieve his 'daughter' and save her from harm. Did he succeed in that and what happens when Kathir and Prabhu meet after these many years of being separated at a young age?
The 'isms' that we usually associate with a Selva movie, like the beaten down hero or the weird dialogue delivery, were missing in this one. Yes, we get a crude and evil man leading the movie, but he is more sophisticated and maintains an element of calm considering the standards of a 'Selva film'. We get some dialogues in English and subtitles to make things easier for the crowd.
The first half, at the end of which we learn of the possession, was riveting. It brought memories from vintage Selvaraghavan's screenplay book that made things exciting as the movie progressed. Though we get the run-of-the-mill scary template of a ghost possessing its host, we get to watch it through the lens of Selva, which makes it a different experience.
Indhuja, who plays the pair for Dhanush, was convincing. Her role was underserved, and her capability as an actor has been left untapped. Also, the second pair, Elli Avram was justifiable for the role as that of a North Indian female. Prabhu and Yogi Babu in supporting roles had limited scope and they've done a decent job.
Yuvan's BGM was fantastic. The 'Veera Soora' number was not impressive as a standalone number, however, when watched along with the movie brought in that eerie feel and Dhanush's swag did the rest to make it more magical. Om Prakash's frames were haunting and brought in those thrills well.
Dhanush, the actor shoulders the entire film with poise. The variations that he displays with his dynamism is something commendable. Playing the good and bad guy and making the audience root for both characters is praiseworthy. Very few actors possess those qualities to pull off contrasting characters that they get to play in the same movie.
Post interval, things moved a little hastily, and the tension and buildup that made the first half worthy disappeared. Everything was pretty mechanical and predictable. The climax portions were filled with some naive scenes of one-on-one action and illogical heroism. Also, it finished as an open-ended riddle.
So, the coming together of director Selvaraghavan and actor Dhanush has been largely welcoming. However, the movie could have done way better in the latter half had the writing in Selvaraghavan been brisk enough to deliver the goods. The length at just about 2 hours does help the movie to a large extent to stand the storm of cliches and rhetoric. Overall, it's a watchable Selvaraghavan film.