Cast: Ajith Kumar, Shruti Haasan, Lakshmi Menon, Ashwin
Music: Anirudh Ravichander
What is it about: It’s a story of a local goon Ganesh/Vedalam (Ajith Kumar) who lives a double life to cover his bad deeds from past, which has an ulterior motive to protect his sister Tamizh (Lakshmi Menon). The secret which holds these two characters forms the crux of the story directed by Siva.
Why it’s disappointing: Just like any other masala festival flick, this again lures in to clichés which have been fed to us endlessly. The story seems to be loosely based on many films which are inspired by this genre. The problem lies in making the protagonist becoming a mass hero rather than a performing one, which ultimately loses the essence of the character building in the movie. Siva dives in to the same pool of mass, which in the first half tries to wander with a cute and innocent face. The movie focuses entirely on the MASS factor.
The first half lurks around with Soori, Shruti Hassan, Bala Saravanan, Swaminathan and Ashwin. Who do their respective appearances without getting registered. Vedalam had a decent plot with a potential which could have turned in to a racy thriller, but it loses big time in the very first scene with special ops trying to nab an international criminal. A scene which required a careful execution turns out to be funny with fast movements which seemed like it has been fast forwarded, a movie of this calibre and budget can do much better.
Shruti Hassan seems to be happy with her short screen presence. No matter what is being said she is a very potential actress, who have been wasting her talent doing mindless masala flicks.
Siva could have done way better, but he was busy making the fan base happy and forgot about the universal appeal. And also could have shortened the extended climax which gets little tiring.
What to watch out for: The lead of the movie “Thala Ajith”, he’s one of the two characters who carries this movie which gets paralyzed few minutes in to it. Both the characters played by Ajith were really good, he did it religiously with a great twist of mass, style and wit. The Ganesh character was innocent and loveable, whereas the Vedalam character was stupendously interesting. Especially the transformation which was smooth and in the second half as Vedalam he did some scenes which were applause worthy. The dialogues by Siva given for his characters were well written, which creates a good mill among the fans.
After Ajith another character which requires a special mention is Lakshmi Menon, her character was rejected by many leading actress of this time before it was offered to her. I’m pretty sure the actors who had rejected would have regretted after watching the movie. She had a meaty role, in spite of playing a sister’s role to Ajith, her screen space is pretty much parallel to Ajith. She did a commendable job as Tamizh.
The action sequence pre-interval was a good touch, which leaves the audience with a hope for a better second half. Post interval there are few scenes which makes it up for the first half. Siva who lurks around in the first half, gets it on track in the second.
The cinematography was vivid by Vetri and was cut at god-speed by Ruben. Music by Anirudh was an added flavour to this festival treat, my favourite picks are “Veera Vinayaka” and “Aaluma Doluma”, and both were composed well and had the tempo which was precisely required for the respective situations in the movie. The background score was apt making the MASS scenes match the festive mood.
Verdict: Siva gave THALA fans a great treat this Diwali, which lurks around too much, whose act is brought on track by Ajith’s oozing charm, style and mass factor. “Vedalam” is a decent outing this Diwali with family which succeeds to make the cash registers ringing.