In August 2013, it was confirmed that Vijay Sethupathi would be doing a film with Kreshna titled VANMAM. The film is directed by Jai Krishna, a former assistant of Kamal Haasan. The film has music scored by S. Thaman and cinematography by Balabharani. The filming began in late April 2014 in Nagercoil and was shot in and around Kanyakumari district. The whole shooting was completed by early July 2014, in 60 to 70 days. Will VANMAM be a hit for Vijay Sethupathi and Kreshna following their films RUMMY, VAANAVARAYAN VALLAVARAYAN, PANNAIYARUM PADMINIYUM which did not do well in the box office? Read on to know!
VANMAM is a friendship – revenge drama set in rural backdrop. Radha (Vijay Sethupathi) and Chelladurai (Kreshna) are two jobless youngsters and thick friends, who does nothing other than drinking / smoking and getting into quarrels often. Chelladurai is in love with Vadana (Sunaina), sister of Ratnam (Madhusoodan Rao), one of the rich businessmen in the town. Knowing about his sister’s love, Ratnam decides to kill Chelladurai. What happens then forms the crux of the story.
Director Jai Krishna has attempted to give a much familiar revenge story with nativity and emotions, along with the usual commercial elements added; however, the film does engage very rarely. There is nothing so fresh in the presentation too; the execution could have been a lot better, a tight screenplay would have made the film at-least ‘bearable’! The film moves at a very slow pace, with highly predictable scenes; after a point of time, with so many yawning, unimpacting twists, the film tests your patience to a great extent. There is a 1990s style melodrama all-through the film, where the primary characters keep on crying, fighting and shouting; but, none of those emotions works out due to weak writing and some unrealistic performances. Even the scenes where Radha regrets for his mistake and takes care of the disturbed family, reminds a popular Malayalam film that had Mohan Lal in the lead.
Vijay Sethupathi’s performance is the only relief in the film! He has given his best in the role of a rich, daring youngster who would do anything for his loved ones; his stunt sequences are also too good, but he needs to improve a lot in dance to act in such commercial films. But still, it is really a sad surprise for the audience to see him in such a mainstream commercial film so early, after films like SOODHU KAVVUM, NADUVULA KONJAM PAKKATHAI KAANOM and PANNAIYARUM PADMINIYUM. Next to Vijay Sethupathi, it is ‘Goli Soda’ fame Madhusoodan Rao who impresses much with his neat performance. Kreshna’s poor, usual / amateurish acting and his whole characterization has been a very big let down. Likewise, the villain in JP role has done an unconvincing job.
The romance portions adds to the boredom and the detailing on VJ Sethupathi and Kreshna’s friendship was never adequate! Even the Tirunelveli region accent looks so bad and is irritating, after a point of time. The below average songs which are forcibly added is another major minus point; the picturization is also below average. The BGM was too loud and could have been much better. Bala Bharani has done a pretty decent job in cinematography.
VERDICT: An usual revenge drama which does not work, due to the slow paced, predictable scenes and too much melodrama!
Review by: Rahman
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