The man behind "Pollathavan", Vetrimaran strikes gold here with Aadukalam. A stylish revenge drama comprises of cock fights, friendship, vendetta - all amalgamated into one fine capsule.
The movie starts with explaining the significances of cock fights in earlier centuries and how it continues to the contemporary days. Then we see a bunch of men who knew the intricacies of this business on how to train them up and everything. This is a nice introduction, given the fact most movies these days follow the same mode of each character one by one. And we see a pretty girl bleeding to death in her home in an attempt of suicide. Then we see a bunch of underdogs searching for someone in pitch dark. And the movie goes back to flashback mode on the classic tamil film style "How it all begun"
We see Karuppu working under an Old man who is dexterous in the job and everyone hails him as the god father.Ratha ravi's voice adds value to the rôle he downplays. And we have the Kishore, who did a cool rôle in Pollathavan, shines here with a different look. Thank god, Samuthra kani dubbed for him and yes this time it was apt. I saw kishore at last in Vamsam speaking some broken tamil with poor pronouncation skills. Can't blame him its indeed very tough to speak Madurai tamil when tamil is not your mother tongue. Vetrimaran is smart enough to identify and fix with a nice alternative. And Karuppu - if Dhanush doesn't act as expected, then that's news. So no news this time. The only thing I want to add is day by day this lanky fellow is growing by leaps and bounds when it comes to acting. And that's real good for tamil cinema which vowes by some pretentious actors around claiming they are the best. And last but not the least , the girl who acted as the Anglo Indian girl did well given the rôle.
Now after this long explanation about characters I don't want to give anything on the story and screenplay front. Its really a darn good flick with nice songs, no clichéd sentiments or need for a mass intro song or fight. This is just a movie about a group of folks who don't know anything other than cock fights. When met with betrayal, shame, love how these men react to the situations form the movie. On hind sight, it may seem like just another revenge flick with a Madurai back drop however it has many layers explaining the little intricacies about what their life is all about. The special effects doesn't look cheap like Ayirathil Oruvan blunder but its used when its needed. It never wants to show off and that's a milestone these days given the obsession in using these tricks in movies these days (read enthiran - that mosquito scene , man i slept for a while) The camera work is brilliant and editing is quite good if not awesome. GV prakash stands out in a couple of songs and BGM sounds great though many times I cant help thinking of Pudhupettai.
And about Madurai as back drop many feel tired of this trend. I really don't know whether they are really tired or is it the feeling that they can't stand the fact most of the big shots come from this place. If a movie works just because its shot in Madurai, then the same should work in case of Chennai or any other place. This is something like in GMenon's films they keep on talking the phrases which none of us have had chance to use in real life. May be he has used in his life. Similarly, these guys want to show their place and they do it. I read a blog sometime back and I clearly see how the writer don't want to accept these flicks.
So what's Aadukalam - It's an honest potrayal of lives of people of a different class. It never tries to be something else and that's where the director outshines everyone. He has given whatever he wanted to give. And yes, with style and class! Three cheers to Vetrimaran.