'Vedalam' review: Too much sentiment and masala spoil the broth

'Vedalam' poster.

'Vedalam' poster.

'Vedalam' is another star vehicle that rides with expectations and mutilations.

Karthik Keramalu
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Cast: Ajith Kumar, Lakshmi Menon, Shruti Haasan, Ashwin, Soori, Kabir Duhan Singh, Rahul Dev, Mayilswamy.

Director: Siva

'Vedalam' is another star vehicle that rides with expectations and mutilations. 'Vedalam' comes right after 'Yennai Arindhaal', a film that put the right kind of spotlight on Ajith Kumar. This sadly turns out to be another regular masala film. Masala films do entertain every now and then but when all that remains is masala in the end, it isn't thoroughly enjoyable, right?

Of course, the best portion of the film has to be about the 'Vedalam' character Ajith plays in all his regalia. Red shirt, jeans, chains, earrings, and finger rings. Could a local rowdy get anymore rowdier? The introduction scene has Ajith smiling at the camera. Don’t get fooled by his meek demeanour. Wait for it! Wait for it! The 'action' takes time to build up because of a sour comedy track (Soori, Shruti Haasan and gang). In the meanwhile, we are made to familiarize with a bunch of criminals in suits.

Lakshmi Menon plays a sister from the 80s. I thought Tamil cinema bottled the brother – sister sentiment and threw it away in the sea. The bottle has swum back intactly. There’s nothing wrong in siblings shedding a tear or two for each other but there’s a certain sense of beauty to it. While the hero relentlessly sacrificed for his sister’s wellness, Ilaiyaraaja through his background score made us weep. Anirudh doesn’t do that here. The actors don’t do that either. The sentiment for most of the screen time practically looks childish in ‘Vedalam’ and that’s not a good sign because the film is organically designed to carry it on its shoulders.

The comedy wholeheartedly is terrible. There isn’t one moment dedicated to genuine laughter. Shruti and Soori plan on making us laugh through their failed attempts at getting back at Ajith for reasons that are unfunny. Ajith tries a bit from his side to balance things and expectedly that doesn’t come alive.

How would a person’s bowel movements be if he’s plagued by diarrhea? That’s how cinematographer Vetri chooses to take the camera for a merry-go-round during the action scenes. You’ll miss two men who got punched by Ajith in the blink of an eye. The scene where Ajith warns Rahul Dev and Co. in the climax with his hand gestures and villainous smile is too fun. It is definitely the defining mass moment of ‘Vedalam’. And that’s only one scene in a movie that’s more than two and a half hours.

When things that are commendable are few and far between, it’s not an easy watch. For all the “Aaluma Doluma” about ‘Vedalam’, the impact is just about a fingerprint. There isn't enough strength in it to pack a punch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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