Vijay, the 38-year-old “Ilaya Thalapathy”, returns this Diwali to treat his fans with his latest action flick Velayudham. This is my first attempt at writing a review, and if you dont mind, I’m going to get straight to the point!
Firstly, to his credit, Vijay is consistent! After Sura and Kaavalan he has starred in yet another mindless piece of drivel. Some movies request that you “leave your brain at home and enjoy the ride”, but Velayudham demands that you flush it down the toilet!
I only saw this film yesterday, and already my brain’s defence mechanisms have gone into overdrive, desperately trying to remove the rubbish that I witnessed the night before. However, from what I remember the plot goes something like this…
Self-righteous journalist Bharati (Genelia D’Souza), in her quest to expose corruption in the government and end terrorism in Chennai, does what any journalist would do in such a predicament; create a fictitious superhero called ‘Velayudham’ to scare the hell out of all wrongdoers. Elsewhere, a village milkman – also conveniently called Velayudham (Vijay) – travels to Chennai with his young sister, Kaveri (Saranya) to collect money that he had invested for her wedding. Within moments of arriving, Velayudham (the Milkman) prevents a terrorist bomb blast and becomes a sensation. This prompts Bharati to ask Velayudham the Milkman to become Velayudham the Superhero. Velayudham initially rejects the offer (I guess he didn’t like the name) but he then changes his mind when he discovers that the money he had invested for his sister’s wedding had been stolen. Velayudham then takes up the alter ego of Velayudham (a chance for Vijay to show off his acting range) and decides to take on all evildoers – Assassin’s Creed style! Hansika Motwani is one of Vijay’s love interests in the film, but is a pointless character who adds nothing to the storyline.
This movie has all the ingredients you would expect from a Vijay film; senseless plot, cheesy hero introductory song, poor people preaching about the hero’s virtues, over the top fight scenes, thangachi (sister) sentiment and of course, the customary political message. This movie is what you call “Mass Masala” and if that is what you are looking for this weekend then this film delivers.
In regards to performances; Vijay does what he does best, play Vijay. This has been described as “Vijay’s most challenging role to date”; one can only imagine the difficulty in playing two characters that share the same look, personality and name. I can just picture him in his trailer starring into a mirror trying to psyche himself up and get into character before a shoot: ”I’m Vijay [does a happy face]….now I’m Velayudham [sombre face]….now I’m Vijay [happy face]……DAMN, I’M GOOD!!!”
Genelia has progressed from her “bubbly girl” personality, but her acting skills are limited. However, in her defence, she does well what she was hired to do – look hot. Hansika’s performance can be described as “bouncy”; she has limited acting skills, but possesses certain “qualities” that will have actress Namitha looking nervously over her shoulder. Santhanam cracks a few jokes that raised a mild chuckle, but the rest of the cast were forgettable. The same can be said about Vijay Anthony‘s music; nothing special and instantly forgettable.
As I said before, this movie is just for die-hard Vijay fans. For the rest of us who wish to use more than 10% of our brains, I suggest you stay at home or go out and enjoy real life. I will join you once my brain has wiped out Velayudham. 1/5
© Mystic Tamil for Thamarai.com 2011
Mystic Tamil is an avid film buff based in London. Click here to follow him on Twitter.