Director Krish has followed the pattern set by world masters where multiple stories converge in the climax. A style popularised by Amores Perros, Babel and Crash, where the screenplay is connected to the characters who are brought together in the climax due to the directors deft handling of the script.
This short story genre which is new to Tamil cinema, manages to work well for the new age audience who likes everything in short doses. Almost all the stories are deftly told, with the mandatory twist in the climax which keeps you riveted.
Let’s take a look at the stories- Bharath (Bharath), an aspiring rock star sets out to give his first solo stage show on the New year eve in Chennai with his friends. They miss the flight and decide to drive down from Bangalore for the concert. How during the travel he changes his attitude and becomes a better person is shown in the climax.
Rahim (Prakash Raj) and wife Zara (Sonia Aggarwal) who lost their twins during the communal riots in Coimbatore is getting back to normal. The couple set out in search of Rahim’s brother who is now in Chennai. He is always suspected as a terrorist by a police officer (Ravi Prakash) who hates Muslims.
A poor, old weaver and his daughter-in-law Lakshmi (Saranya) in Tirunelveli owes money to a ruthless financier (Kathal Dandapani). When Lakshmi’s son a bright student at school is taken away by the financier as daily labourer, the illiterate people sets out to Chennai to sell kidney and procure money to get the boy and put him back at school.
Cable Raja (Silambarasan) is a happy-go-lucky lower-middle class guy who dreams of becoming rich by marrying wealthy girl is trying hard with his friends (Santhanam and VTV Ganesh) to cough up money to take his girlfriend Pooja (Jasmine) for a New Year bash at the five-star hotel in Chennai.
Saroja (Anushka) is a call girl who is under the control of Rani Amma who runs a brothel in Sulurupettai in TN –Andhra border. Saroja is in huge demand by rich and powerful in town and the smart girl decides to run away to Chennai and set up her own business. But fate intervenes and she falls into the hands of the local police and she is on the run.
Silambarasan delivers an incredible performance and his versatility comes to forte in the last one hour of the film. He is complemented perfectly by Santhanam and VTV Ganesh who brings the house down with their rib-tickling one-liners. Prakash Raj is simply outstanding with his subtlety and the little nuances while Sonia is charming. Anushka is outstanding as the commercial sex worker as she is able to bring out a life-like performance. All small characters in the film including Anushka’s personal makeup man who comes as a transgender is brilliant.
The film works due to Krish’s story and outstanding camerawork by Nirav Shah. He has used different lightings for each of the stories, which brings out the human element in the episodes. And the camera following the characters conscience in the climax justifies the story. Antony editing makes the narration crisp especially the way he criss-crosses between the parallel stories. Music of Yuvan is just ok, but it is the background score which keeps you hooked to the narration.
Though the film may not be a mass, formula masala entertainer, it is different within the commercial format. Director Krish and his team push the cinematic envelope and bring savvy freshness to Tamil cinema. For this alone he should be applauded.
Vaanam is worth investing on a movie ticket.
Verdict - Very Good