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Saturday January 18, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday January 18, 2014 MYT 7:59:50 AM
By SHARMILLA GANESAN
FANS of Ajith Kumar will more than get their fill of the star in his latest outing, which is a showcase for his screen presence.
A masala movie through and through, Veeram is not where you should be looking for depth, logic or character development. But if you’re looking for mindless entertainment with plenty of laughs, some oldfashioned bloody punch-ups and a catchy song or two – well then, this should be right up your alley. Not to mention, scene after scene of Ajith mouthing punchy dialogue, bashing up bad guys, dancing with the hot heroine, and basically, being awesome.
After a string of films (Mankatha, Billa 2, Aarambam) playing stylish urban characters with more than a few shades of grey (and I’m not just referring to his new “silver fox” look!), it is refreshing to see the Tamil star take on a more down-toearth, rural character .
Ajith plays Vinayagam, a village ruffian with a heart of gold. Having raised his four younger brothers (Vidharth, Santhosh Munish, Suhail Chandhok and Bala) in poverty, Vinayagam has lived a life of violence; the hardwo rking villagers have nothing to fear from him, but gangsters who prey on them are swiftly taught a very painful lesson.
His brothers, however, are intent on finding Vinayagam a wife, and the first half of the movie revolves around their efforts to set him up with the beautiful Koperundevi (Tamannah Bhatia, who has little to do but look pretty). These scenes are very entertaining, thanks to the antics of their family lawyer Perumal (Santhanam).
The comedian’s witty lines and priceless expressions, as his plans to bring together Vinayagam and Koperundevi fall apart, are some of the most enjoyable parts of the movie.
Their plan does succeed eventually, with Vinayagam even vowing to give up his life of violence to please Koperundevi’s peace-loving family.
Their happiness is shortlived when Vinayagam realises that her family is under threat: how is he to protect the people he loves when returning to his old ways may mean the end of his love story?
It is certainly not the most original of plots, and there is very little to the story that manages to surprise the audience.
The songs, by Devi Sri Prasad, are enjoyable if not memorable, though Ajith and Tamannah do justice to the dances with a fun mix of modern and folk styles. The decision to continuously up the violence throughout the film leads to fight after fight in the later part of the movie, making it a bit of a drag to sit through. With most of the characters and major plot points only introduced in the second half, there is a sense of too much going on as well; as a result, important characters like Koperundevi’s father Nallasivam (Nasser) are shortchanged.
In doesn’t help that most of the othe r actors are relegated to forgettable roles, including Vinayagam’s brothers. The movie makes a big deal about how close the brothers are, yet there aren’t nearly enough scenes of them together, and the four siblings are practically interchangeable.
The movie also lacks a villain strong enough to balance out Ajith’s outsized role.
Even with Appu Kutty as a bloodthirsty gangster in the first half, and Atul Kulkarni as a vengeful criminal in the second, neither is meaty enough to pose any real threat.
These shortcomings, however, hardly matter within the larger purpose of the movie: Ajith, Ajith and more Ajith. True, for a decent storyline featuring the actor, you may be better off turning to Mankatha or Billa, but for sheer hero-worship, Veeram is a sure bet.
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