: 'Vettaikaran'; Director: Babu Sivan; Cast: Vijay, Anushka Shetty, Salim Ghouse, Srihari, Srinath; Music: Vijay Anthony; Rating: **
Vijay, touted to be the next Tamil superstar, continues to ride on worn-out masala films without any attempt at novelty.
'Vettaikaran', directed by debutant Babu Sivan, is Vijay's 49th film and the actor seems to be satisfied with the no-risk commercial formula to maintain his position in the industry. The movie, however, fails to live up to expectations even as a commercial flick, as it seems like a collage of many previous films made in the same genre by directors like Dharani, Hari and Perarasu.
We have seen in umpteen movies, a youth coming to the city to study or find a livelihood but getting caught in the web of all-powerful villains and their hit men. And of course, the powerful villain would remain the most dreaded guy only until he meets the hero, who goes on to single-handedly wipe out his entire regime.
'Vettaikaran' follows the same path of movies like 'Pokkiri', 'Bhagavathy', 'Thiruppachi' and 'Thenavattu' among many others.
The storyline goes like this: Ravi Alias Police Ravi (Vijay), a Tuticorin guy comes to Chennai to become a police officer like his idol Devaran IPS (Sri Hari). He meets Susheela (Anushka Shetty) at the railway station and instantly falls for her.
While love blossoms in Chennai, Ravi locks horns with Chella, the son of local don Vedhanayagam (Salim Ghosh). Ravi tames Chella and earns the rivalry of Vedhanayagan.
In the meantime, Ravi is shocked to know that his idol Devraj IPS has lost his career, eyesight and his family because of Vedhanayagam. While Vedhanayagan makes life worse for Ravi by using his hold over the police.
Ravi escapes the trap and becomes a powerful gang leader to counter Vedhanayagam. Ravi, with moral support from Devaraj, puts an end to Vedhanayagam and his gang with his intelligence and muscle power.
While the first half moves on quickly, the second half tends to drag. The cliched scenes don't help either. The movie has grossly failed to entertain, as it is nothing but a 'copy-paste' exercise by Babu Sivan.
Vijay looks charming and emotes well but he has nothing new to offer, as he is playing such a role for umpteenth time. It is also frustrating to see Vijay, who has acted in so many films, trying to copy the style of Rajnikant.
Gorgeous Anushka spices up the proceedings with her stunning beauty and screen presence. However, like many other Vijay flicks, the heroine doesn't get any scope to perform. Other actor like Sri Hari and Salim Ghosh pass muster.
Gopinath does a neat work with his camera but music director Vijay Antony fails to impress. However, two of the songs - 'Naan Atichcha' and 'Karikalan Kaalu' - sound good.