Genre: Action

Director: Siva

Cast: Ajith Kumar, Lakshmi Menon, Shruthi Haasan & Soori

A hearty mix of predictability & mandatory masala

There had been much hype surrounding this much anticipated Deepavali film since the release of its teaser, which garnered 50,000 likes in an hour from the time it was made public, breaking the record set previously by Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood music video. Moreover, the film set records at cinemas on its opening day, beating all previous records of films that were released on Deepavali day, even those of blockbuster movies like Lingaa and Shivaji (both Rajinikanth starrers)! So, does the extravaganza meet expectations? Here’s my take!

Pre – Intermission: Mandatory Masala

A rather predictable plot was centred around a unique crux which made it stand out: the hero aims to take revenge on the villains for reasons you will find out later. His justification is based upon a sentimental bond between siblings. The first half of the movie begins with Vedhaalam (Ajith Kumar) and his sister Thamizh (Lakshmi Menon) arriving in Kolkata to seek admission for the latter in an arts college there. The plot somehow sustains itself with a below average mix of comedy and the injection of typical romance through the introduction of Swetha (Shruthi Haasan), whose role was rather minimal – she does not add much value to the storyline.

Laxmidas’s (Soori) comic relief was decent, but Ajith could have definitely shouldered the facet of comedy well even without him. The use of dialogue in the first half was below average – but thankfully, it was salvaged by Ajith’s heroic charisma. It cannot be denied, however, that certain lines do have the potential of catching the attention of the audience. The dialogue delivery of many actors was draggy and exaggerated, and hence some scenes just fell flat. Lakshmi Menon deserves praise for a commendable job throughout the film with her consistent acting that wasn’t overdone.

Post – Intermission: Predictable But Enjoyable

The second half of this movie saw a notable improvement, especially towards the climax. Despite the overused and worn out flashback mode of storytelling, it was enhanced by twists and turns that were well-fitted and impactful dialogues at the right points of time – in short, a good mix of typical elements of Indian cinema. The message that intangible things in life are never replaceable by tangible things, as cliche it might sound, was indeed portrayed quite beautifully in the second half. The comedy track in the second half was also more appropriate and natural, as opposed to the first half where it seemed artificial in nature.

Overall: 50-50

Anirudh Ravichander’s songs were a holistic mix, ranging from a carnatic touch in Uyir Nadhi Kalangudhey to the upbeat, thara local feel delivered in Aaluma Doluma. He could have pulled off the Theri theme music a tad better though; it sounded repetitive when placed next to his previous scores. The Western tune of Don’t You Mess With Me sounded all too familiar. (or is it just me?) Well, I will leave that judgement to the fans of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj!

The effort that was spent on portraying violence on screen could have been well-diverted to explaining certain illogical loopholes that were rather glaring in the plot instead. We could begin with Vedhaalam’s magical powers of being able to locate his villains every single time. *rolls eyes* Such minute details are capable of either making or breaking the storyline. Hence they should have been paid more attention to. Otherwise, on the overall, Vedhaalam is a decently packaged masala film that can be caught in theatres. (just once!)

Rating: 6 / 10

Ashwinii Selvaraj is currently a JC1 student at Raffles Institution. She studies Tamil Language & Literature as one of her subjects and has a keen interest in writing short stories and screenplays in Tamil. Ashwinii is also passionate about music and enjoys singing as well as playing the veena in her free time. She hopes to pursue Political Science in the future while simultaneously engaging in research-based work.

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