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Times of India
: Arjun (Jiiva) is a boxer and Anjana (Taapsee) an architect. He helps her with a job interview, and she, in turn, wants to help him get a shot at the national selection. He falls in love with her and proposes, only to be told that she will marry only if her father approves the match. During the meeting, a stray bullet fired by gangster Ramana (Nandha) kills her father. Though distraught, Anjana agrees to marry Arjun but on one condition — he must bring to justice the man who killed her father.
Sibling rivalry seems a favourite theme with R Kannan. After basing his debut movie 'Jayam Kondaan' on the theme, he uses it again in 'Vandhaan Vendran' after a brief flirtation with love in his second movie 'Kandaen Kadhalai' (a remake of the Hindi superhit 'Jab We Met'). But while 'Jayam Kondaan' had a taut screenplay and narration, Kannan seems to have lost his way with 'Vandhaan Vendraan' (which literally means 'He came, he conquered').
Though the movie starts intriguingly enough, by the second half one tires of the innumerable holes and unnecessary twists in the screenplay and the songs and characters that keep popping up at regular intervals.
Characterization is one of the major flaws in the movie. Though Arjun is shown as an aspiring boxer, that ideal is dropped like a hot potato once Anjana comes into the picture — from then on, his only aim is to marry her. After the death of her father, one would expect Anjana to be in mourning or angry that justice has not been done by the police, but she happily prances around and dances with Arjun. Though the director tries to justify the earlier scenes with a Keyser Soze-ish (he of 'The Usual Suspects' fame) twist, by then it is too late to save the day.
It is time for Kannan to go back to the drawing board and revisit the works of mentor Mani Ratnam, who incidentally made the classic 'Agni Natchathiram' which was also based on sibling rivalry, to plug the gaps in his writing.
Thaman comes up with good work in 'Anjana' (Aalaap Raju) and 'Kanchanamala' (Karthik and Priya Hemesh), which are sure to keep rocking the music charts for some time. If somebody conquers with this movie, it is only Thaman — the rest of the cast and technicians fail due to the poor screenplay.