Veetla Vishesham - A worthwhile celebration!
I haven’t seen Badhaai Ho and so, if you are looking for a comparison, I wouldn’t be able to help. Even without having watched the Hindi original, I wasn’t actually too curious to catch up with Veetla Vishesham. I guess it had to do with the fact of having watched the Mohan Lal starrer Bro Daddy directed by Prithviraj recently. That was predominantly a comedy and having heard and read about Badhaai Ho, I knew the latter had a lot to say apart from being a comedy. Despite this, the fact that the novelty of the plot might have been lost and the trailer of Veetla Vishesham being a little reminiscent of Bro Daddy had me thinking twice before stepping into Veetla Vishesham.
Half hour into Veetla Vishesham and I was pleasantly surprised. It was far less loud than I had imagined it to be. I am still assuming Veetla Vishesham to be louder than its Hindi original but please bear in mind that LKG, Mookuthi Amman and the trailer of Veetla Vishesham are the yardsticks for me here. The film gets off to a neat start in establishing its characters and by the time the plot opens up, you sort of ease into the film. There is definitely a certain TV serial kind of a vibe with the look and feel of the film. But that doesn’t come in the way of the film and it actually seemed to help in a way. The distractions from the plot too are minimal and probably closer to nil. Almost everything happens inside the household of Unnikrishnan (Sathyaraj) and Krishnaveni (Urvashi).
Veetla Visheham really shines with its sincerity. It comes across as a film made with all the right intentions. RJ Balaji himself (the actor in this case) is a lot subdued and it is the veterans who run the show. Sathyaraj really shines at places where he is embarrassed and is hesitant to break the news about his impending fatherhood to his mother and his children. Urvashi is terrific and so is the late K.P.A.C. Lalitha with her towering presence. The emotions really work towards the end of the film. Be it talking about a woman’s agency over pregnancy, the normalization of sex or to put it more accurately the normalization of conversations about sex, the romance between a senior couple and finally the hypocrisy of supposedly 'modern' people, Veetla Vishesham hits all the right notes. Even when the film seems a little loud, it surprisingly remains believable. That is, you know that the actors are playing it a little over the top for the fun quotient but it also comes across as though these characters could behave that way.
A ‘V.Sekhar’ kind of a film with the current sensibilities is probably the closest I can think of in defining Veetla Vishesham. It is fun, emotional, loud, clear and gets the job done.