Vellai Pookal - A neat whodunit that is surprisingly good!
Vellai Pookal by a team of filmmakers residing in the US sees Vivek don the lead role. Though it was touted to be an investigative thriller, I certainly doubted if this would be a completely different avatar for the actor or a tweak of his former self from comic rules. Surprisingly it is more of the former and has the actor in a mature role.
The best thing about VellaiPookal is that it does not look like an output from a bunch of people who are merely passionate about movies and have tried their hands on it. Apart from passion, a lot of thought has surely gone into the film. Apart from the obvious budget constraints which has been cleverly masked there isn't much that would even make you think of the word amateur. The film is crisp and keeps things simple. The way Vivek's bonding with his son is portrayed as a part of the main narrative is some very good writing.
Vivek is very good as the protagonist Rudran. While this is quite a serious and mature role, what really worked was that it wasn't turned into a somber one. Despite no laugh out loud moments the Vivek-Charlie camaraderie keeps a smile on your face. The foreign actors are pretty ok. Not great but surely better than what we are generally accustomed to in our movies. Technically the movie is pretty neat. The interrogation that Vivek plays out in his mind is nicely brought out on screen. VellaiPookal is crisp and despite a serious crime being dealt with, it does not go into preachy mode. The climax is convincing and this is definitely one of those films where you do not see the killer coming from a mile.
What was it about the dialogue comparing race and caste and people misusing it? From the scene in the film it looked as though the oppressed misuse their status. While there possibly can be no general consensus on this and possibly scenarios such as these happening, having a judgmental dialogue on discrimination that has been plaguing humanity for years did not not feel good to me.
VellaiPookal is an efficient and well made thriller and with Vivek in good form it is a winner.