Out Of Theatre

Vaanavil Vaazhkai

Out Of Theatre
13 Mar, 2015 2 hrs 31 mins U
Jithi, Janani Rajan, Cassandra, Dr Sowmya, Jonathan, Sai Shankar, Jose Selvaraj, Shilvi Sharon, Maya, Gaana Shiva
The film is so devoid of excitement that they do not get our pulses racing.

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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: ​A group of college students, led by a newcomer, tries to win the university championship. But first, they must make a song and dance about their friendship.

Movie Review: Vaanavil Vaazhkai begins with a song (it's a musical, you see) and the first frame is that of a group of girls shaking their behinds to the music. Talk about starting on a bum note! The film is the directorial debut of TV personality and music director James Vasanthan and you have to hand it to him for trying to deliver a musical in the strictest sense. But that is where the praise should stop. Because, as a film, it is a test of our patience and as uninvolving as a boring lecture.

Jack, a third-year-student who comes to Chennai from Delhi, dreams of winning the university championship. His band becomes friends with a girl from a women's college led by Preethi. A prank almost splits Jithin and Preethi but then, they get back together, determined to win the championship. But will Vinitha, a diva who is jealous of Preethi, play spoilsport and ruin their chances?

The characters are generic figures — happy-go-lucky hero, noble heroine, bitchy competitor, well-meaning friend, and so on. Still, it is possible to make an engaging musical with these tropes. You only have to look at modern Hollywood musicals like Pitch Perfect , which, despite being generic, make for a diverting watch. Being a musical, it is understandable that these characters will break out into a song often but these songs should be stand-ins for dialogues and advance the plot (And being a film about students, the action takes places anywhere but in a classroom. In the one scene that is set inside a classroom, the lecturer says he doesn't want to take lessons!). Here, we get songs without proper lead-ins that it becomes annoying whenever we get a song. Thankfully, the songs aren't bad; they are bouncy and foot-tapping with a lot of gospel music and soft rock influences, even though the tunes, mostly, are hard to distinguish from one another.

But for such a film to succeed there should be enough drama between these songs and we should have characters who are engaging, and this is where Vasanthan fails. There is hardly any energy in the scenes, and even TV shows like Kanaa Kaanum Kaalangal create tension better. The film is so devoid of excitement that even the final portions, involving the university championship, do not get our pulses racing.
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