Before attempting to discuss this week’s new release Veera Sivaji in any worthwhile form, it would be wise to be warned that we are talking about a film that actually gets into its plot twenty minutes before the half-way point, conveniently gets the male lead amnesic right afterwards, only to return to the same point where it started, plodding aimlessly for another one hour before making us go on our knees to plead for the film to end. Squandering huge amounts of screen time in inane subplots and generally, in things trade analysts believe the general audience care about than a genuinely narrated plot, is not something new to our ‘commercial’ cinemas. But even by their standards, the new Vikram Prabhu film seems like a new low. Even while the film is not talking about the plot, it doesn’t stray anywhere near ‘watchable’. And that’s probably putting it very mildly.
The director, Ganesh Vinayak, at no point of time, seems to be clear in what he wants to do. He starts off trying to establish Vikram as a ‘mass’ hero, but ends up painting the generic Tamil cinema do-gooder picture for him. And to make things worse, the scenes he uses for achieving the purpose seem to have been written by a tenth grader, trying to shoot his first short film. He introduces a female lead (incidentally made worse by Shamili) for God-knows-why, who walks in and out of the film like that 90s supporting comedian. We subsequently get scenes in the name of a romantic subplot, which makes us beg for the lesser of the two evils, the apparent comedy track played out by the Robo Shankar- Yogi Babu duo. In general, they irritate, but what other choice do we have?
Almost everything about the film feels shockingly indifferent. First, they kill the timeless BGM from Kadhaluku Mariyadhai by using it to signal some sort of repulsive chemistry between the leads, and then they stage a song called “Thaaru Maaru Thakkali Soru” with Shamili cat-walking through the streets of Pondy. I almost cried for mercy. In another simultaneous track, when something unfortunate happens to a little girl, we are supposed to empathize with the character. But, instead we feel nothing. There are no emotional beats whatsoever. And finally, when we get to the main plot, which is something about a comical villain planning to become the CM by bribing the masses (No kidding), we no longer care. Its almost like amnesia. The hero finally gets hit on the head and regains his lost memories. We keep getting hit through-out, only to lose our memory about the last good Vikram Prabhu film.