Vedhalam Review - A Baasha Wannabe
Ajith and director Siva have come together after their first successful outing, Veeram. Director Siva gave a fresh make-over to Ajith as a kind-hearted village ruffian. Siva has retained the core elements of Veeram and blended that with Rajini's proven "Baasha" template and served up a Vedhalam exclusively for Ajith's fans. Siva has added taken care of the ingredients necessary for a mass masala movie. Siva has concocted equal portions of sister sentiments, comedy, love, revenge and on top of all that decided to throw in extra dosages of 'mass' masala actions.
Story, Screenplay and Direction
In the pursuit of making it a "Thala" Diwali and satisfying the fans, Director Siva has taken a number of things for granted. The first thing that goes for a toss is logic. In Vedhalam, there are at least half a dozen fight sequences. In every single one of them Ajith makes mince-meat of all the baddies single-handedly. It doesn't matter whether it is a group of local thugs or international army of gun-wielding villains, Ajith takes over everybody by walking in solo with his fists clenched. The story is predictable from the very first scene. It is obvious that there is a second half flashback to give motive for revenge. Despite the predictability, Siva's writing team has worked well on the individual scenes. That is what keeps the viewers in their seats till the end.
There is liberal dose of coincidences to move the story forward. The characters conveniently show up where the story needs them to be. The editing fast forwards all the oft-repeated situations through fast cuts. Many of these issues are masked by some sprinkling of intelligence, sentiments and apt background score. Anirudh's background score saves a number of cliched sentimental scenes and mass dialogue borrowed from the script books of last decade.
Ajith has given 100% and shows both his tough and soft sides in a very convincing manner. His childlike innocence and his polar opposite vampire looks are fantastic. Ajith carries the movie despite all the predictability and cliches. Ajith's dialogue delivery is exemplary in sentiment scenes and rowdy slang in the second half. In the pre-interval portions, computer graphics team sculpts Ajith's shoulders and arms for added effects to underline his transformation. However, Ajith's expressions are often dampened by his bulky look and extra pounds, noticeable in his face and neck.
Cast and Acting
Lakshmi Menon as Ajith's sister has more scenes and better role than Shruthi Haasan. Lakshmi Menon looks matured and has acted out her part well with no complaints. The scenes involving the loss of her memory is yawn-inducing. Soori and Shruthi Haasan take care of the comedy scenes. Interestingly, Shruthi Haasan is more of a comedienne than hero's love interest. Shruthi goes completely missing in the second half and shows up for a few moments in the last few scenes. Shruthi should be complimented for looking like a svelte model. Ashwin, Thambi Ramaiah, Kovai Sarala do not have much to deliver in terms of performance. The three imported main villains are strictly okay and do not make much of an impact.
Music and Technicalities
Anirudh helps a lot of scenes with his excellent background score, barring a few over-the-top loud scores during action scenes. Anirudh's songs are a big let-down and nothing novel in the way they have been picturized. They are just speed breakers along a predictable path. Ajith shakes his legs and hands for 'Aaluma Doluma' with the aid of fast cuts, close-ups and strong lights in the background, The editing is hurried with sharp cuts to skip over the script deficiencies, before viewers take notice. Stunt choreography has worked overtime. Art direction is good in recreating interiors and streets supposedly set in Kolkata.
Due to the level of action and violence, the movie is difficult to garner support from family crowd and women audience. For a movie this violent, it is surprise how the movie got a "U" rating. Vedalam forcefully digs up a message by throwing an end title card extolling the virtues of women and importance of achieving their true potential. Vedhalam is strictly for 'mass' masala action lovers and Ajith fans.
Rating : 2.5 / 5