Burma, a gangster and politician, is after Vijay, who, he thinks, has swindled him of a huge amount of money. But Vijay claims that the money was stolen from him. Is he lying? If not, who has stolen the money and why?
It is not often that we get to be pleasantly surprised by a film and
is the surprise of the season. It is directed by a debutant director and features no A-list stars, but still keeps you hooked from start to finish. The film opens with the hero being battered almost to death by goons who demand something from him. And, the entire first half tells us what happened till that point in gripping fashion. Generally, thrillers tend to lose some bit of the tension after the revelation but this film manages to keep you on the edge of the seat till its climax and it is certainly its biggest triumph.
The plot revolves around Vijay, a lower middle class guy, who falls in love with Madhumitha, a nurse with plans to go to Canada for her higher studies. Her father borrows a huge sum from a loan shark for the same but it is only latter that he realizes that the agency which promised to take his daughter abroad is a racket. Viji decides to repay the amount to save Madhu and seeks help from Uthaman, a lawyer who works for Burma, a gangster and a rising politician. They use Viji for their elaborate scam, which involves lending out money deposited in a bank and making a profit out of the interest. All that Viji has to do is take the money and distribute it to the various middle men. However, Viji is tricked en route and the money is stolen. Burma is in a fix and thinks Viji has cheated him but he goes into a coma after being beaten up by Burma's henchmen. Where did the money go and who has stolen it?
There is a lot to like in
and first and foremost among these is the script. The film is tautly written with one scene leading into another or informing the other so that there is hardly a wasted moment. We have seen films where a young man gets caught in a power struggle between two powerful individuals, and yet, this film manages to feel fresh.
Even the characters are familiar and still feel new to some extent. At first glance, Viji seems like the wayward young heroes that our directors seem to be fixated on these days. He is crude, drinks with his friends, stalks the heroine and beats his mom in public. But then he is also somewhat responsible. He has a job even if it, as he says in a scene, doesn't leave him with any savings. He loves his mom and only beats her up because she is sympathetic towards a prostitute who lives in the locality. The mom-son relationship, despite Saranya Ponvannan playing the naive mother for the hundredth time, is what makes us root for Viji. And, he genuinely loves Madhu and earns her respect. She, too, isn't the normal love interest as it is her character which sets the plot in motion. She also becomes a stake in the conflict in the latter half of the film. As for Burma, he is an immoral man but at the same time, he also has boundaries that he cannot cross and has to play the game by its rules.
The film also shows how it is more important for a director to get the right actors; they need not even be strong performers or stars but should look the part. So, when we see Sukanya, we readily believe that she could be the brains behind such a scam and with Prabhu, we instinctively realize that he will not be too bad. The same goes for Thambi Ramaiah. Even though he is seen with Burma all the time, we know that there will be some goodness in him. As for the lead character of Viji, a star like Dhanush would have added to the visibility of the film but that would also have meant additional scenes to justify the star power. Given that Viji isn't around for at least 20 minutes in the film, a non-star like Vijay Vasanth feels just right. And, he does full justice to the character.
There are a couple of scenes that make the foreshadowing very obvious — one involving a mobile phone with tracking feature and another that takes place during a film shoot — but even these are woven into the screenplay in a nice way. The mobile phone plays a part in furthering Viji's contact with Madhu while the latter is mentioned at least in a couple of instances in conversations to make it seem organic.
If you really want to pick on the film, you could say that the songs are speed bumps, given that they aren't even that catchy, but even in these, Rajapandi gives us minor variations to make them somewhat interesting. Doesn't it feel unique when the hero's mother becomes part of a duet song? And, a song in a flashback sequence has the male dancers dressed in MGR's costumes from his popular films. The film also doesn't really transcend its genre but when a director has managed to genuinely thrill us for two hours, should we really be complaining?