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Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu (Raghavan) March 28, 2007

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Tamil, Telugu.
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After I fell in love with the music of this film, I was waiting for its telugu version which was rumored to be titled ‘Magadheera’ or ‘Ventaadi Vetaadu’. Since that one doesn’t seem to releasing anytime soon, I caught the tamil version.

Gautham Menon claims that this is “Another episode in the life of a policeman”. That seems to suggest that this a follow up to Kaakha Kaakha in his series of cop films. However, this is a disappointing follow up to Kaakha Kaakha. The film is superficially very similar to that one in many ways and after watching this, I think Gautham Menon shouldn’t do any more “episodes” as he doesn’t seem to have anything fresh to offer.

The film starts off with a stupid action episode where Kamal Haasan beats up tens of goons singlehandedly. You can’t help but notice that Kamal Haasan seems a tad too old and a bit too fat to portray an invincible action hero. This is followed by the Karka Karka song which is imaginatively shot but due to the preceding sequence, it loses its impact. What happens next seems promising. Prakash Raj’s daughter is brutally murdered and Kamal is called to investigate. Though he finds her body, the killer is still on the loose. Few months later, Prakash Raj and his wife are killed in USA leading to suspicion about a serial killer. Kamal now moves to the US to track the killers with the help of the NYPD and thats exactly when things start going wrong with the film.

As far as I am aware, Kamal Haasan doesn’t have an action image that Gautham felt the need to oblige. Hence, the decision to portray him as one is perplexing. The easily noticeable logic-defying moments, some over-the-top dialogue and the overdone background score put me off to a great extent. Coming from Gautham Menon, one expected better.

Gautham does a few weird things in trying to show that Raghavan is very intelligent and can solve things which the NYPD doesn’t manage to. Setting the film partly in America adds to the problems of credibility and logic. Also the film manages the be unintentionally funny quite a few times and features some particularly pathetic dialogue. My favorite is undoubtedly the time when Kamal Haasan mouths “Back home, they call it the Raghavan Instinct”. Is it just me or did a lot of people crack up on that one?

The romance which worked very well in Kaakha Kaakha fails here. Neither the story of Raghavan’s first wife nor his current romance manages to strike a chord. Though the love story doesn’t succeed, some of the dialogue brings back memories of Kaakha Kaakha.

If Gautham does succeed at something, it is at the portrayal of the serial killers. Their psycopathic nature will manage to scare members of the audience. Saleem Baig (Kaakha Kaakha), who portrays Ilamaran and Daniel Balaji (Kaakha Kaakha), who portrays Amudhan do a superb job. The gritty portrayal of some of the incidents also adds to the impact. This part of the plot does work despite flaws and that is what holds the audience appeal.

Apart from the these two actors, the others don’t have much scope to perform. The role of the cop doesn’t make much use of Kamal’s histrionic capabilities. An easy outing for Kamal. Jyothika gets another typical role while Kamalinee Mukherjee doesn’t get much to do.

Harris Jayaraj’s soundtrack is outstanding while his background score leaves a lot to be desired. Manjal Veyil and Uyirile had caught on so much that I know the words to both these songs by heart (and I don’t understand much more than conversational Tamil). His background score, on the other hand goes completely wrong. It is pumped up at the weirdest of places like Kamal boarding the plane to New York. Other technical areas like cinematography (Ravi Varman) are strong.

Gautham’s picturization of the songs was a total disappointment for me, not to mention that they seem to be repetitive. Manjal Veyil, which I had great hopes for, features Kamal and Jyothika walking around in New York with some glimpses of some African-Americans ‘breaking’ in between and some extras including Gautham singing the chorus part (the young boys singing in the back reminds you of a similar bit featuring girls in Jyothika’s introduction song in Kaakha Kaakha). The initial parts of Paartha Mudhal remind you of Ennai Konjam and the later parts bring back memories of Ondra Renda from Kaakha Kaakha (the bike sequence is dreadfully done). There is also an item song as was the case with Kaakha Kaakha. Uyirile is quite a standard duet picturized abroad. Karka Karka has some stylish sequences in it but following the ludicrous fight sequence, it seems laughable at times.

Wikipedia tells me that this is the biggest grosser among tamil films in 2006 and is the biggest hit in Kamal’s career. I am not sure if that is true, considering that it wasn’t dubbed into telugu. If you have seen a few serial killer films from Hollywood in the past, this might not hold your interest. If you aren’t too familiar with the genre this might appeal to an extent despite its shortcomings. Those who’ve seen Kaakha Kaakha and liked Gautham’s work very much might want to stay away from this one.

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Comments»

1. sandeep halder - November 13, 2008

hi
This is sandeep.i have seen this movie and I don’t agree to most of your points.I watched this with subtitles as iam a bong and not a tamil,i liked the movie a lot.this is something that bollywood has to achieve yet.there are many points which i want to contradict but due to lack of time I cannot but I will pick up the romance btween kamal and jyotika.it was well achieved.it was portrayed with gr8 aesthetics…their realtionship was more of friendship than actual love which develops into love. besides that i liked the perfomance of everyone.though i felt the psychos could have been better.
Whatever i have written over here is absolutely my point of view on which u can always have ur opinion.though i must say u have written well but it’s only the view point I am not satisfied with
Thanks and regards
sandeep halder

2. Sai - November 13, 2008

Sandeep,

I didn’t enjoy this film and I guess it was partly due to my expectations based on Gautham’s previous work. If this was directed by someone else, I would probably have not disliked it as much. There were multiple points in the film where I felt he was repeating himself.

I agree that the film has a likable cast. As far as the romantic aspect is considered, sure the aesthetics are good and it is more realistic than the average Bollywood film but I felt it wasn’t anything close to memorable.

3. sandeep - November 14, 2008

even i agree to the fact that the love aspect was not something in lines of classic films.i have not seen many of gautham’s work except VV and rehna hai tere dil mein. as a viewer i like movie something in the lines of VV,NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN,LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS…AND A COUPLE OF RAY FILMS,in the same lines.(have u seen ray films by the way..if u have not i recommend u can pick up feluda series viz SONAR KELA,JAI BABA FELUNATH…)

4. Sai - November 14, 2008

I have seen a couple of Ray’s films from the Apu Trilogy a while ago but I haven’t seen either of those based on his Feluda stories. Need to check those out..

5. sandeephalder - November 17, 2008

some of the ray films that i recommend u r
Agantuk (The Stranger) (1991)
Joy Baba Felunath (feluda strory)
1969 Aranyer Din Ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest)(if u see this u will not see dil chahta hai)this movie will make u understand why ray became the first filmmaker of repute to be known internationally.it’s superb.
sonar kela


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