Just like most people, I spent this Christmas weekend attending mass, feasting on the delicacies & watching movies. Well the first movie happened to be "Tiger Zinda Hai", the review of which I had posted a couple of days back. The other one that tempted me to watch was "Velaikkaran" as it marked the debut of Fahadh Faasil in the Tamil film industry. To add to the excitement, it was directed by Mohan Raja who had called the shots in the impressive "Thani Oruvan". So will it live upto expectations???
The film opens with Arivu (Sivakarthikeyan) seeking the permission of Kasi (Prakash Raj), the gangster in his locality to open a FM station. Since it was a slum, his main intention to start a community radio station was to educate the people in his neighbourhood about the evils that prevented their upliftment. As expected, Kasi shuts down the FM as it threatened his influence in the region. At around this time, Arivu gets employed as a marketing executive at "Saffron", the numero uno company in the consumer world. His new boss was Adhi (Fahadh Faasil), an ambitious manager with whom he develops a close bond. Even as Arivu enjoyed his job he soon realizes that the corporate world isnt much different from the gangsters as the former was just greedy about profits with utter disregard for the consumers. This scenario inspires him to bring about a positive change, but was it even possible???
The amount of research that has gone into the script with regard to market dynamics deserves praise & kudos to Mohan Raja for it. The message that he wants to convey is loud & clear, but the problem is the protagonist keeps repeatedly harping about it that after a point of time it becomes tedious to the audience. It almost felt like the message has taken centre stage while the story is just flimsily built around it. On the technical side, Ramji's visuals & Anirudh's music deserves applause for their craft while the BGM & the editing by Reuben & Vivek Harshan were average . A word of praise for the art department as well, that has done a fine job in creating the slum environment.
It might sound surprising but this is the first movie that I had watched of Sivakarthikeyan though he has been in the industry for close to five years now. He has given an earnest performance & was an apt choice for the role. Fahadh's credentials as an actor is well documented & he has given a thumping performance yet again in the screen space provided to him. To be frank, he actually owned the scene whenever he came on screen. Sneha was impressive, Prakash Raj was under utilized while Nayanthara was wasted.
Verdict: Mohan Raja has tackled an extremely important issue of food marketing & consumer response. It's a subject that each one of us needs to seriously think about in this fast moving world. The message was conveyed effectively but it slipped into a preachy tone after a while. It is sure to make a positive impact at the box-office though it could have been better if more thought was put into the screenplay. In short, do check it out!!!