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Times of India
: Bhoominathan (Vijay) is sent by his boss Muthuramalingam (Raj Kiran) to be a bodyguard for his daughter, Meera (Asin), in college. To get rid of his obnoxious uniform and behaviour, Meera poses as an anonymous college girl and expresses her love to Bhoomi over the phone. But when it is time for them to meet face to face, the unexpected happens.
After a string of embarrassments like 'Villu', 'Vettaikaaran' and 'Sura', Vijay bounces back with a sincere, down-to-earth performance in 'Kaavalan'. It is a welcome change to see him playing a hopeless romantic, a sea change from the recent movies where he has tried to take on a over-the-top, superhero avatar. And it helps that there are no intro songs and punch dialogues in the movie.
'Kaavalan' is a remake of the Malayalam film 'Bodyguard', which had Dileep and Nayanthara in the lead roles and was directed by Siddique himself. The previous collaboration of Vijay and Siddique, 'Friends', which also had Suriya and Devayani in the lead roles, was the talk of the town for its rip-roaring comedy — thanks to Vadivelu — and was a huge success. Maybe, that is why Vijay reposed his faith in Siddique to bail him out.
The movie showcases Vijay in the romantic mould, as seen earlier in movies such as 'Thullatha Manamum Thullum' and 'Kaadhalakku Mariyadhai'. The best parts of the movie are when Vijay starts getting calls from a girl professing to love him, how in the beginning he gets irritated by them and finally falls in love without even knowing who the person on the other end is. Vijay and Asin had shared a terrific chemistry in 'Pokkiri', but here she doesn't have much to do. Vadivelu helps bring in some laughs, but it is Vijay's show all the way, and he carries the movie effortlessly on his shoulders. He dances with elan and emotes with ease as a man in love yearning for phone calls and then a glimpse of the woman with whom his only link is his cell phone.
Vidyasagar comes up with some good songs in the movie, the best of the lot being the dance number 'Step step' (sung by Benny Dayal and Megha) and the melodious 'Yaaradhu' (Karthik and Suchitra).
'Kaavalan' is vintage Vijay on display and is proof that if he keeps away from superhero mannerisms and sticks to the vision of the director, there are a lot of good movies left in him. Though it faced a lot of problems in its release, the success of the movie should hopefully persuade Vijay in delaying his political plans.