Vedhalam - This movie and Puli before this one, introduced me to the world of troll memes on the lead actors. OMG!!! Shudders at the amount of venom spewed forth on those pages. I am not entirely convinced that its the blind fanatical support of the fans or just their hatred towards the other actor, but its definitely beyond any of these. Every single act of the actors are defamed in derogatory terms and are rejoiced madly!!! Hope their creative ire can be directed better.
Now to the movie. Even before i could watch it, as like for any major release, social media is abuzz with reviews and majority of them had written off the movie. So my expectation levels were sub zero when i started watching it. I felt it to be a typical masala entertainer which could have been better cooked for a bigger result. Ajith is one of those lucky actor blessed with a larger than life charisma and an army of fans to ensure bonanza of a box office opening. He was the front runner in choosing different scripts from new comer directors and never hesitated to take up challenging roles in the past. But in his last half a dozen movies he alternates between being a don or a policeman with almost same mannerisms and style which has become an overkill several movies back itself. High time he starts to choose his scripts wisely. He looks bloated in the movie and a good workout wouldnt go waste before his next attempt. In this movie, he shows glimpses of what a wicked villain he could be and he is there in almost every single scene. Lakshmi menon, for a sister role, surprisingly has a meaty presence and has gelled well. For a lead actress, she appears to have no inhibitions in taking up this role which could be a potential career changer for her. Shruthi hasan can boast of having been paired with both Vijay and Ajith back to back. But her screen presence is a sum total of ten minutes, both movies put together, doesnt augur well for her. Soori achieves new level of mediocrity in comic timing with each passing movie. Anirudhku Ajith mela enna kovam therila. Marana mokka songs. Uyir nadhi kalanguthay was ok. Aaluma doluma is the worst he has composed ever, considering he has just started his career.
Storywise, its outdated even for MGR era movies. Rowdy has a change of heart, being sentimentally mobbed by Lakshmi menon's family and avenges for the death of her parents. Ashtey story.
Gils verdict: Passable watch for Ajith fans sollalam. Aana ithey thaan last pathu padathukum sollitrukarathala, relegated to mokkai this time.
Thoongavanam - Usuala Kamal copy adichifies english padams and passes them by as his own brilliance. Inthavaati copy adicha kathaiya rights vaangirukomnu he announced before hand. Yet pazhakka doshathula he has put his name as incharge for storyline. Poguthu. Story has a strong base as it revolves around what happens in one night at a single place. Usually, movies made from books, especially fantasises survive solely on the creative inputs of the director and art department, good examples being the Potter series and LOTR. They made full use of their liberty to create a world from words. Probably the only cases where the movies were one up on the books. Thoongavanam, to me, sounds more like a movie that craves to be a novel. The theatrical version seems to be bound by constraints on characterisation and like many other previous Kamal movies like Hey Ram, Mumbai Express, Anbe Sivam and Uthama villain being the latest addition, which would've made excellent paper backs, this movie could well have been that. Not sure if the original French version was adapted from any book though.
Now to the story. An undercover narcotic cop, tries to steal a drug delivery, to trap his colleague, only to end up having his son kidnapped by the supposedly recipient of that drug delivery. How he saves his kid, brings to book the wrong doers on both sides of the law, overnight forms the story. Kamal has one fight, one song (in the end), screen share throughout the movie run time and two lip lock scenes with a lady lead brought in for that purpose alone. Trisha beats Kamal, gets beaten by Kamal, chases Kamal, gets chased by villain and finally becomes his partner in solving crime. Prakash Raj dons both the comic hat on top of being villain and excels in both. Sampath, supposedly the main villain has a sum total of ten seconds of screen space. Yugi sethu dies before he could count the number of scenes involving him in one hand. Papanasam villi inspector comes as Kamal's wife and stakes claim for having the shortest scene space. The boy who acts as Kamal's kid has the second biggest scene space and reminds of Nayagan junior Kamal. Connexion's Jegan's pure unadulterated villain character is the only role without multiple shades.
Maybe to synch with the theme, the entire setup is shot in dark and it starts to pain the eye towards closure. There is no edge of seat thrill scenes to hook the viewer to the story. There are no twists or turns to engage the audience as the story moves on expected lines. Considering that the trailer was so interestingly edited, sad that the movie doesnt do justice to the expectation.
Gils verdict : My bet is this movie may not work out for tv watch. One ad break is all it takes to shift attention. A very ordinary work from a man who used to have a penchant for picking the right scripts from Hollywood. Maybe the lack of effort in tweaking the storyline with thrills shows and has taken its toll.