9.02.2006

Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu

I am not a big fan of ‘Kaaka Kaaka’, it is good accepted, but I feel that it is one of the most overrated movies. I don’t think it would have been a big hit, if Surya wasn’t there. Surya was so refreshing to watch in a police character. But I didn’t have much expectation on ‘Vettiayadu Vilayadu’. But the presence of Kamal Haasan and interesting premise of tracing out a killer based on incidents happened in Keeranur and New York made me curious. So, I went to the movie on the second day itself and while watching the movie, the interview of Gautam (One of the most straight from the heart and honest ever from a movie director) to Hindu magazine and his words about the movie started running in my mind.

Plot in Gautam’s words

The cop-versus-killer cat-and-mouse game, leads to the same problem as in 'Kaakha Kaakha,' when the cop's personal life gets involved and affected in the course of the investigation. The classic serial killer mystery in the mould of 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Seven' soon gives away to a full-fledged commercial action film as the cop and the mystery killer go tit-for-tat, says Gautham.

The main problems of the movie are those bold words in the previous paragraph. One of the major problems of KK is its weak villain and so is of VV. I felt the characterization of the villain was a major drawback of Kaaka Kaaka. A hero’s character becomes strong only when the villain’s is stronger. The intentions of the psycho killers in this movie are kiddish. Just because of villain saying like, “killing was like Smoking for me, I was trying hard to stop it” doesn’t make his actions convincing. And what make it even more boring are their predictable tricks to escape from the police. As the character is weak, no matter how hard Balaji tries to perform well, his character loses the appeal.

All went well when nothing gets personal between the hero and villain but everything falls flat in the second half when it goes to a tit-for-tat mode. Kamal realises it too late in the movie when he says, “It is getting personal”, after they kill and hang up one of the associates of Kamal in the Adyar Bridge (again KK hang over). And the worst happens when the villains kidnap Jyothika to take revenge. Also Gautam looses his eye for small details in the second half. Though his intention of pasting the posters of “Hannibal” and “Psycho” movies make some sense considering that the villains are psycho killers, I don’t know when how these guys were so cool and had time to do all these decorations to their room as they were running from one state to another to escape from the police. Instead, it would have been more appropriate if those movie posters were shown shinning in their residence in New York.

It is very clear that Gautam has got confused how to end the movie, he started to make a great psycho thriller cum a cop story but ended up doing a hi-tech Gilli. The words ‘full fledged commercial film’ crossed my mind when the “Neruppae” (well choreographed though) song came at a crucial point disturbing the pace of the movie. Also unnecessarily lot of large than life stunt sequences are there which hampers the quality of the movie further. And Gautam himself accepts all these as he said

From your earlier film, you have to go five notches higher. Especially with Kamal, I would have loved to do something like a Nayagan, which is an all-time favourite film, don't know how "commercial" it was, but it was a complete film. I didn't do that. I didn't have that kind of time. So, I thought let me make commercial film

From the way he has executed the first half of the movie, I strongly believe Gautam sure have potentials to make a great movie one day, but as he said, he may not have got enough time to make VV as one. Unlike the villains, Kamal and Jyothika’s characters are well etched out. I liked the way the story unfolds in a leisurely pace without any logical flaws. Though it seems the clues are so obvious to trace the killers and it happens too fast, the way it has been presented realistically makes it appealing. Gautam always does these romantic parts well. The matured love story of Kamal and Jyothika is so pleasant and refreshing to watch to an extent that we don’t mind the main plot of the movie getting interrupted by their conversation. Unlike KK, the conversations are so natural and realistic in this movie, especially those between Kamal and Jyothika.

There are some cute one-liners here and there and in one of the scenes Gautam mocks himself through Jyothika’s character saying ‘Yenna Maniratnam padathula vara madhiri aaramikkiranga?’ That was exactly what every one of us would have thought after Kamal asks Jyothika “Yaen (Why?)”. Also Gautam brings a connection between KK and VV by making Kamal’s first love story and its ending like how the love story started and ended in KK. There by if he makes a trilogy, sure he can show this episode as a link between the movies. It would have been better, if Gautam had kept the suspense about the killers till the end. The mind and instinct game was more interesting than boring chasing sequences in the second half. When the villains and their intentions are revealed so suddenly, I was shocked and thought how he is going to proceed from here. And yes, that is what exactly Gautam also would have thought while writing the script.

Here is what Gautam said about first half,

It is realistic. First half is very real, bang on... I've not compromised at all. He's not allowed to take a gun. He has to find out what happened from the local cop there. He walks with the other cop and suggests what they could do... So, it's a sort of an unofficial investigation

Technically the movie is superior. Ravi Verman has done a brilliant job in using right tones and different camera angles to capture the various moods of this thriller. The murder and rap scenes are very gory and authentic. I don’t know why people complaint about this. May be it is not suitable for children and women but that is how it has to be shown when you have the villains as psycho killers. Well done. As always Anthony is there to give a stylish look to the film by his flashy editing. I liked the way the visuals are cut to show the flashing past memories in Kamal’s mind while he is traveling to New York. They have used color grading in quite a lot of places to get authentic mood and look and it gels well with the scenes at most of the places. There is a chasing sequence in the second half where Kamal in a jeep chases a villain on a bike, it happens in early morning 4.30. It is clear that the chasing sequence has been shot in day time and the color grading is done to make it look like 4.30 am. But they missed to watch that there would not be so much traffic in the Tidel park road at 4.30 am. Background score is good in parts.

It is a treat to watch Kamal is such a role giving a subtle performance. So is Jyothika. She has improved a lot. Kamilini just looks pretty and has nothing much to do. Prakash Raj has got minimal screen time but made his presence felt. So, finally here is what Gautam says about the movie and I perfectly agree with him.

It is a good film...nothing else. No problem if they call it another 'Kaakha... Kaakha.' That is a good film. It made for good viewing, good value for money. This is definitely that. It's got good songs, it's got Kamal Hassan. I wanted to go one step beyond that... which im not sure

10 comments:

kanna said...

Good review. This is one of the more objective blogger reviews I've seen.
I didn't have much trouble finding the villains realistic, though. I personally thought they were fairly well etched, though the root of their mental state is nver made all that clear. And I thought that the movie would have been weaker if Gautham Menon had waited till the end to reveal the villains, cos that would have turned the movie's ending into a cliche "Ithu thaan nadanthathu" flash back.

I thought Harris Jeyaraj's Background music was quite good in VV, what do you think?

Suresh Kumar said...

hi,
I think it is better cliche than 'en podattiya vitturu naan un pondattiya vitturaen' ending. Yeah, HJ's score is good and better in this movie, especially i liked the way a stroke on Tabla when a eunuch says oru blackku oru whittu in jail but there are places where he used loud music where silence would have had a better impact, especially the music when Kamal proposes to Jyothika in the airport.

Muthuvel said...

I think Pithamagan came after Kaakha kaakha...actually, even the shooting of 'Pithamagan' started much after Kaakha kaakha was ready for release.

Suresh Kumar said...

muthuvel: yeah, thanx for the pointer, i have corrected it.

kanna said...

Suresh : yeah true... I didn't think the ending was perfect; I think gautham was very tempted to kill of jothika's character (yet again) but changed his mind at the last minute. At any rate, the transition from the climax to the last scene wasn't well done, I thought.

Kanna

RËÅGÂÑ™ said...

Very well written review Suresh, and its exactly what I thought about the movie. The villains are absolute kiddos for an intelligent hero, proving to be a major drawback for a film shot stylish and authenticly. I for once thought that Daniel Balaji's performance wasn't convincing nor real for a physcho killer. To be honest, i wasnt impressed. Great villains are usually in the mould of an intelligent person. Goutham could have opted to stretch mind and instinct games right upto the second half, which would very much keep its suspense and thread on a brilliant script. Chase sequences very well brought down the quality of the movie, otherwise what could have been a superbly etched thriller. It just breaks its suspense where the movie was initially threading on. What proving to be a class turns out to be just less than that. But still kudos to Goutham for an interesting first half, which actually reminisced me of good crime thrillers from hollywood.

Suresh Kumar said...

thanx....yes, the first half was good and that itself has set a standard even which the second half doesn't meet.... Balaji was okay in a sense that if well etched his character performance would have been interesting..

shooooo said...

Very well said. It exactly what I felt about the movie. Second half he should have put little more effort.

But I think time factor and the problem accured during the making could have some impact on the second half of the movie. This is just what I feel.

This movie should have better. Anyway way it was a better cop movie.

Mumbai Ramki said...

I don't think Gautam did this due to time constraints ..Its his formula of a Sleekish first Half and an emotional-personal second half ..It caters to all audiences ..

My takeon this movie ,
http://mumbairamki.blogspot.com/2006/09/vv-its-almost-superb.html

Suresh Kumar said...

and as you can read from Gautam's interview.. he himself feels slightly bad for doing something like that with kamal as hero... but i don't think it catered to all audience atleast that is what i hear from my friends and audience coming out of the theatres and i will read your take on the movie