Okay the big movie of Tamil Cinema. It delivered or not? Tough Question. I would say mostly yes and in some aspects- No. Why? Read on
First shot opens as Vikram standing in a hillock bare-chested and sun rises behind him. We see a brawny fellow standing upright before us. Cut. A village festival was going on. Immediate cut. We see Vikram standing in a hillock again. The camera goes behind him and from above his head we see a long shot of a river running down silently. He flips a stone into the river and dives deep into the river. Another Cut. And yes, Mani has set the mood for the film.
Story: After the intro, we see a group involving Prabhu, brother of vikram attacking a group of police and vikram kidnaps Aishwarya, wife of inspector Prithvi Raj on the other hand. And yes, the hide and seek story unfolds in ten minutes into the flick. Prithviraj starts his hunt of Veera and comes to know that Veera is rugged yet having good reputation among the local tribes and finds hunting him down will be a Herculean task. Aishwarya on the other hand doesn’t want to get killed by Vikram, jumps into the river and Vikram saves her followed by his mood swings. Did Prithviraj capture Veera? Why did Vikram take hostage of Aishwarya? Why Vikram couldn’t kill Aishwarya at the first instance itself? Who wins the battle? Mani solves all this in a slow first half and a somewhat interesting second half.
Having said this, its not a strong story. The flashback was not strong enough to sustain why Vikram wants to kill Prithviraj. There were loopholes in logic at times, but performance makes us to forget. Though Priyanamani delivers it was more like seeing her in second instalment of Paruthiveeran. I could hear all the comments pertaining to that in the theatre. Prabhu and Karthick shines with their witty dialogues. Ranjitha is a surprise in the flick and shouts about Nithyananda is not though. :)
Ok, the million dollar question. How was Vikram as Veera? Well, you know what am going to say. It’s very hard to say anyday that Vikram didn’t deliver. And the stalwart is once again the backbone of his flick. You take Vikram out of the role, I could only see Aishwarya’s performance coming next to him. When he is in the screen, he chews everybody else in the scene and ya, that’s expected. Be it romance or fury he delivers with such a zeal. He is a gem when it comes to acting. Prithviraj looks good and does his role perfectly as expected.
How about Technical ascepts? Ya baby , we have the best of the breed here. If wizard ARR is one pillar of the flick and another one would be Santhosh Sivan. Music and Cinematography are sublime. Montage, long shots, wide ones, low angle ones?- you name it, Santhosh captures beautifully with his camera and the lush green we see just adds more charm. Under estimating Srrekar Prasad’s editing would be a sin. Having said that, he would have edited more during the first half which is the real pain point of the flick. Peter heyen is a surpise though. Mostly known for gravity defying stunts, here we would see some real action here.The blasts and the fight before the climax which happens in a bridge above 3000 feet above the sea level is one treat to watch and savor. Though reminded me of the first fight between Surya and Madhavan in” Ayutha Eluthu”, the location changes my perception.
I don’t how many can attempt those kind of fights in their movie. You can count hardly. CG looks childish at times, and sometimes you never know it. Music Usure Poguthe and Kodu Potta are nicely shot. All praise to Karthick and ARR.I personally didn’t like Kalvare and Kattu siriki much. Kattu siriki was in a wierd voice over. The background score adds up to the eerie effect of the woods and indeed haunting mostly.
The climax was brilliant. Though one can predict the ending, the way the characters were woven toward the end and how perspective of one change toward other is shown as a class act. And you have a splendid performance from Vikram on the other end. One of the best scenes where you can see the full potential of vikram is when he explains what happened in the hanging bridge to Aishwarya- Man i don’t think anybody in Tamil cinema can do it at present. So many expressions he shows without a hint of over acting. Indeed an explosive performance. Period.
Verdict: Mani wins as a good commander here. Technical brilliance is seen throughout the film. And an explosive performance from Vikram makes it a must watch. On the down side, don’t expect logic (only at times) and a great story to back Veera’s deeds and vengeance. Weak story and nothing interesting happening in the screen which leaves the flick without any soul
Verdict – 3/5 (just Okay)