(Warning: Contains “substantial” spoilers ahead)
That’s right, with too many things to do for the new house in my mind and my wife’s consistent request; I finally ventured out to see a Tamil Movie for a break. After a long time missing out on the movies for the past few months, we decided to watch Kamal Haasan’s Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu.
There was couple of reasons for this:-
1. That was the earliest movie in the cinema for that day
2. My wife been hearing about the movie from her sister, so she was curious
3. The movie been running for some time, so we expect less crowd for this movie
4. It is a Kamal movie so the “quality” should be good
We were at IOI Mall and managed to get early tickets. After loitering for some 30 minutes, we went in to see the movie. There was only about 20 odd people in the cinema but I am sure it would have been a full house on the opening day. Let’s have a look at the synopsis. The official website surprisingly is missing the crucial page on the synopsis, so I will do a “cut and paste” from another site.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Raghavan (acted by Kamal Haasan) sets off on the trail of the killers of Rani, the daughter of fellow police officer Arogya Raj (acted by Praksh Raj). When Raghavan is stunned by the gut-wrenching morbidity in Rani’s killing, Arogya Raj and his family set off to New York to escape from the memories of their daughter. But there he is hacked and bumped off in the most violent of manners. The report from NYPD is that Arogya Raj was assassinated in cold blood.
Raghavan is off to crack this perplexing mystery. In NY, he runs into Aradhana (acted by Jyothika). Raghavan is a widower (his wife Kamalini is taken out by thugs) while Aradhana is trying to get out of a failed marriage. The two make a pair. And Raghavan gets down catching the killers with the help of American police.
It was the good old “police chasing the crooks” story but something was a bit different here. For one, we don’t have the usual “gangster like” policeman beating up 10 – 20 crooks headed by corrupted politicians. Instead we have DCP Raghavan who is armed with a digital camera (for taking quick snapshots of the crime scene), a laptop and a voice recorder to keep track of events. The DCP is well built but he is not too quick to bash up the criminals (yes, he cuts to the chase by just shooting the criminal or let his team take care of the job).
For the first half of the movie, we do not know who the killer is but the murder is gruesome. So, we wait in anxious for the DCP to investigate and come up with a few possibilities. The inclusion of NYPD (that’s New York Police Department) into the investigation bring a whole new aspect of “professionalism”. Not I am saying that the TNPD (Tamil Nadu Police Department) is not professional but let’s face it, given the both, who would you say looks some organized in the movies? This movie will change that perception of course.
Even the Indians noticed this change (from thenisai.com):-
This is probably the closest Tamil cinema has come to a real police procedural. Kamal finds his targets with real, painstaking police work rather than easy-to-find clues or obvious witnesses. We are with him every step of the way as he questions witnesses, uncovers clues and puts the pieces of the puzzle together. We understand his dedication and the scene where he listens to his own notes on the Dictaphone is an insightful glimpse into how he works
Anyway, the DCP finally catches up with the killers (you may ask how – by using simple logic and painstaking checking against immigration records – actual work instead of using the Media Player for quick solution). The killers are none other than a bunch of Indian medical students who are serial killers both in India and the US. They kidnaps women, rapes them and brutally kill them using surgical knife.
The story was refreshing and the crooks actually die in various part of the movie (the director decided to go real this time around). DCP does not work alone but actually gets supports from fellow officers in the investigations (normally in Tamil movies, the hero policeman would have beaten up 20 thugs single-handedly without any injuries and would have caught the head mafia before the police force comes for his assistance)
It is a Kamal movie – that should speak for the quality of the acting and with Jyothika thrown into the story line, the result is simply superb.
The best part of the movie which looked like a Hollywood classic is when the DCP and his NYPD counterpart confront the killers in their apartment. The NYPD guy is shot death immediately and after close encounters, the DCP is stabbed with a surgical knife by one of the killers. They left him bleeding to death whilst hurried off to India for more killing spree. Kamal’s acting here with blood oozing down from his lungs is superb here. He really looks like he is in pain. The realistic camera shot here is an added bonus to the scene (some where it was mentioned that this is the first Tamil movie to be shot with a 35mm film – the same used in Hollywood movies).
What I can say? They are simply brutal. The killers (one well acted by Balajee) seem natural in their state of lunatic world. They even know their medical terms well and know which part of the body need to be cut and sliced. Raping and killing all within 30 minutes from kidnapping without a pause or mercy – that’s cold!
The background music by Harish Jayaraj is superb and adds to the realism of the scene. I almost forget that I was watching a Tamil movie. Nice catchy songs added in for relaxing listening. The best is the song titled “Manjal Veiyil” sang by Hariharan – it is fast, sentimental at the same time and in the movie, you have the New York dancers dancing to this tune and Kamal & Jyothika are not even singing – they just go on with the daily work here (a bit different from those movies that have sexy skimpy Western dancers).
In conclusion, it is a well done movie thanks to the director Gowtham Menon to add realism and real facts into the storyline. The viewers are consistently kept on their toes on solving the crime and capturing the serial killers.
Another review of the movie is at Arunz World
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