Vaanam Movie Review
Cast: Simbu aka STR, Anushka, Bharath, Vega,Jasmine Bhasin,Santhanam,Prakash Raj,Sonia Agarwal
Production: Dhayanidhi Azhagiri,Ganesh
Banner: Cloud Nine Movies, VTV Productions, Magic Box Pictures
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematographer: Nirav Shah
‘Vaanam’, the remake of critically acclaimed Telugu film Vedham, is one of the much awaited films in 2011. Director Krish, who directed the original has remade the Tamil version too with an ensemble cast of STR (Silambarasan), Bharath, Anushka, Vega, Saranya, Prakash Raj, Sonia Agarwal and others.
So does it, in fact, repeat magic on the silver-screen? That remains to be seen.
The story of Vaanam is all about five completely unrelated characters from different places and their life. Call it destiny or celluloid drama, these five come under one umbrella. What’s next, it forms the crux of the journey of fate, each one being the steering force of their own destiny.
The characters in Vaanam are very ordinary, relatable mortals with their respective grey shades
you’ve got Cable Raja (Simbu) in Chennai, a happy-go-lucky cable guy who makes a rollicking entrance worthy of his status and his character. Together with his friend Seenu (Santhanam), Raja roams the streets, connects cables and is also desperate to make money, so he can gain passes for a certain premier event. His girlfriend Priya (Jasmine Bhasin) is stinking rich, and the only way to gain her family’s consent is to play the rich boyfriend himself.
Then you have a wannabe rock star Bharath Chakravarthy (Bharath), in Bengaluru, who kicks off proceedings with his group (including girlfriend Vega) with the high-voltage Who Am I? Turns out his mother doesn’t like the idea of her son wasting his life; she wants him to go into the army like his father did. Naturally, Bharath resists the idea, gains a live gig in Chennai and sets off.
And we have a ravishing foul mouthed sex worker Saroja (Anushka) in Sulurpet, the Tamil Nadu-Andhra border, who tries to escape from the clutches of a prostitution house and earn more independently. But fate intervenes and she falls into the hands of the local police and she is on the run.
Meantime, there’s a withered mother (Saranya) and her father-in-law, trying desperately to save her son from the clutches of a moneylender in Thoothukkudi. Working in the unforgiving uppalams, she comes to Chennai to gather funds by selling her kidney.
And also there is a devout Muslim Rahim (Prakashraj) and his wife Zara(Sonia Agarwal) in Coimbatore, who are victims of violence. They lose their children and are in search of peace. Rahim learns that his long-lost brother has just been sighted in Chennai, and sets off hotfoot.
What happens when all these men and women meet at one point is a real twist. The end, set to the melodious Vaanam, does move you a little.
Director Krish makes his impactful debut with a different multi narrative format, which is fairly new to Tamil cinema. He deserves accolades for attaching human emotion and elements everywhere in all the different stories.
Fans of Simbu, as he’s styled these days had better be warned, though. This is a film with an ensemble cast, so Simbu is not, technically the “hero”; he’s part of a large set-up, each with his or her own part to play. Simbu’s character, though, is possibly the most defined of the lot. He has understood both the comedic and dramatic possibilities, and played the role well.
He reiterates that at the hands of a good script and a director, he can walk away with all the acting honors. The testimony to this is the scene when he snatches the money bag from Saranya and the vicissitude of emotions that play on his face that toggles between greed and conscience. And the scene at the police station when Anushka wonders if his love was true, the profound expression on his face is noteworthy.
Anushka’s role isn’t all that scintillating, although she certainly adds to the oomph factor.
Santhanam, though, with his timely one-liners, easily carries half the load and walks way with plenty of appluase, while VTV Ganesh too contributes his bit.
Bharath looks flashy and does his best as a rock star. He plays to his strength.
Prakash Raj at his usual best where Vega, Soniya, Saranya and Jasmine are adequate.
Under Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music, the opening song ‘Who am I’ showcases Bharath’s dancing skills which is youthful and peppy. The latest youth anthem ‘Evandi Onna Pethan’ is well picturized and STR’s adeptness with his feet and Nirav Shah’s brilliant camera work in the number are noticeable.
The screenplay is intelligently woven around these characters and Krish builds his narration in a neat pattern not losing steam or our attention anywhere.
Simbu’s acting – He is immaculate and impeccable. The actor’s mastery in handling a complex role is well.
Nirav Shah’s cinematography is appreciable and the angles and lighting sensibilities up the production value of the film.
Editing by Anthony is crisp.
Lengthy and dragging second half.
Some sequences seem forced and convoluted. You’re left wondering where exactly it’s all going, and there are large doses of melodrama that rob the realistic effect.
The track ‘No money no honey’ is apparently forced and brings down the tempo of the film.
The strongest and weakest point of Vaanam is its narration, which at times is confusing. The journey of each of these protagonists is interesting enough in the beginning, largely because there’s a sense of suspense about where they’re going to end up. Until the interval, the pace keeps up, but later it begins to drag. All said, there are some minor hiccups especially in the pace and tempo in narration. If you ignore the minor lapses, you’ve got a reasonably engaging story, and a moving climax.
Vaanam – A Novel Attempt!!!