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Not Quite a Classic: Vellithirai

Director: Viji
Cast: Prithviraj, Prakash Raj, Gopika, Lakshmi Rai, M.S. Bhaskar, Sampath and Srikanth

(Above): Scenes from "Vellithirai."

Kudos to Duet Movies for consistently venturing into off-beat subjects boldly. Since Mozhi in 2007 the trio has come up with yet another interesting attempt in Vellithirai.

Vellithirai is a remake of the Malayalam original Udhayanaanu Thaara, a satirical take on the behind-the-scene shenanigans of the Tamil film industry. Prithviraj is an assistant director with dreams of making it big in the Tamil film industry when his close pal Prakash Raj, looking for an entry into the film industry comes to stay with him.

Prakash steals Prithvi’s story and goes on to become a mass hero. Depressed and disgusted by the betrayal, Prithvi loses track and roams in despair. Lady Luck finally smiles at him with the condition that Prakash Raj be the hero of the film. Prithvi’s struggle to complete the movie amidst hurdles posed by Prakash Raj form the rest of the story.

Viji, in an attempt to be honest, portrays the real struggle between intellectual creators and commercial masters in the industry. This is where the film slackens a bit with the script wandering. Viji’s signature touches can be seen throughout the film but the narration becomes dry and slow in the second half with too much beating around the bush.

Prithvi essays a role of a young filmmaker who is torn between his aspirations and harsh reality. He excels in subtle expression of his emotions and his evolution is well etched.

Acting with an actor’s typical mannerisms and gestures is a cakewalk for Prakash Raj and he plays his role with his characteristic charm, but somewhere the character lacks depth and variation. As a result his comic renditions in the first half is remembered more than his intense character evolution in the second half. Gopika’s eyes do the talking most of the time and effectively too. Her metamorphosis from an ordinary girl to a heroine is presented excellently on screen though her make-up and costumes could have been better as her natural beauty is seen missing in most of the scenes.

Sharp and witty dialogues remind us of Mozhi. Songs are merely fillers and lack coherence with the narration. G.V. Prakash’s music is a big let down and the young composer seems to be much to enamored of the beaten track of late. Only “Thayare thayya” comes close to expectations to some extent.

While a sincere effort to etch a classic on screen is evident throughout, illogical sequences and tiresome narration mars the flow of the film.

— Chennai Online.


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