|Vijay, Hansika, Genelia, Santhanam|
It is Vijay’s Diwali treat to his fans. The film makes no bones, no pretences. It is an old-fashioned masala entertainer that plays to the galleries- a rocking introductory song, two glam girls, adrenal pumping action scenes, comedian Santhanam the current flavour of the season in some hilarious situations, sister sentiments and a message. But that's all part of the design.
The film opens in Chennai with a crusader television journalist Bharati (Genelia) trying to unravel corruption in high places. The state Home minister is hand in gloves with terrorists who are planning to create tension and planting bombs in Chennai. One day while escaping after a sting operation on city’s nefarious activities she gets badly beaten and her two friends killed.
At the same time in an accident, the thugs who had brutally bashed her meets with an accident and gets killed. Bharati creates an imaginary character called Velayudham and writes a note that he wants to clean up the city of the bad guys!
Meanwhile there is a guy called Velayudham an ordinary milkman living in a small village who dotes on his little ‘Thangachi’ (Sarnya Mohan) and his life revolves around her, though his cousin Vaidehi (Hansika) is crazy about him. One day Velu comes to Chennai to withdraw the money he had deposited in a chit fund for his sister’s wedding. In the city, he meets Bharati and due to circumstances is forced to become the fictional character Velayudham who takes on the scum’s of the earth.
Then what is the surprise and what makes Velayudham special? Vijay flaunts his pumped-up physique for the first time as he takes off his shirt in the climax. Director M Raja has packaged the film smartly and Vijay appears to be having a rollicking good time with his scorching screen-presence and his infectious enthusiasm for dancing. He throws himself completely into the film's visceral action scenes, puts his casual, laidback style of dialogue delivery to good use in the film's romantic and comic scenes.
Hansika looks cute, appears confident, and is well cast as the spirited Vaidehi. Her comedy scenes with Vijay are a scream especially the scene when she comes in western clothes to impress her lover. Genelia does justice to her role and Santhanam’s jokes are funny. Saranya Mohan is perfect in the sister role.
One major plus for the movie is Vijay Antony's songs which are melodious and mass. The Vijay introductory song Sonna Puriyadhu.., Chillaxxx.. and Molachu Moonu... are the pick of the lot. Raja has taken the basic thread of the film from Nagarjuna’s Telugu film Azad directed by his friend the late Tirupathi Samy. The original itself was etched out of Amitabh Bachchan’s Main Azaad Hoon which was inspired by Hollywood 1941 classic Meet John Doe.
On the downside, the film is far too long, especially the second half. Shorter in length, one song sacrificed, its action scenes trimmed, Velayudham would have been crisp. But still it is a perfect outing with family, if you are looking for time pass entertainment.
Verdict: Paisa Vasool