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Karthik, Nani (debut), Nithya Menon, Bindu Madhavi, Muthukumar, Shimore
Joshua Sridhar
Photon Kaththas Productions Private limited
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Gautham Menonís assistant Anjana has made her debut as director with Veppam, a film that reminds you of her mentorís style and packaging but lacks a plausible story line.

The film is set in the mean streets of North Madras, a favourite location of directors. It is a film that tells the story of two friends and the way their lives unfold in a background of gangs, pimps, drug runners and murder.

The story is told from the perspective of Balaji (Muthukumar with a voice over by Gautham Menon) a painter who is keen to keep his brother Karthik ( Nani) away from the bad influence of his dad Jothi ( Shimore), a pimp who deserts his family for a better life. Jothi, works for a female don Ammachi who runs a drug cartel and prostitution racket in the city.

Karthik has two people whom he considers close. One is his friend Vishnu ( Karthik Kumar) and the other is his childhood sweet heart Revathi( Nithya Menon). While Karthik is a student, Vishnu has a mechanic shop which he runs in memory of his father with the assistance of a character who has his own private agenda.

All seems to be well until one day, Vishnu, in his eagerness to secure the freedom of his lady love Viji (Bindu Madhavi), a commercial sex worker takes up a mission which changes the life of all characters.

The film is a dark and dreary at times but its major plus point is the music of Joshua Sridhar, who makes a really strong comeback after Kathal. Anjana has shot the songs like music videos. Mazhai Varum and Oru Devathai are outstanding songs superbly picturised by cameraman Om Prakash and comes a relief to the viewers.

Karthik Kumar has come out with his best ever performance as Vishnu, he has nailed the characterís laidback approach and crassness effectively. You canít take your eyes off the Telugu actor Nani, he is riveting. Muthukumar who plays his brother and Shimore as the pimp Jyoti are perfectly cast.

Bindu Madhavi steals the show as she gets right into the skin of the character, while Nithya Menen gets limited scope. On the downside, the plot has too many characters involved and the various incidents in the story have not been integrated in a seamless fashion.

The story moves back and forth in time, making it difficult for viewers to understand the plot. Added to that the censors have butchered the film with too many mutings that irritates. While the first half of the film doesnít have much to offer, the second part more than makes up for it.

Veppam has everything to hold the audiences interest- romance, drama, violence and slick packaging. It is certainly worth a look.

Verdict: Average


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