Source: Sify

By: By Moviebuzz

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Friday 8 December 2006

Movie Title



Vasantha Balan

Star Cast

Pasupathy, Bharath, Bhavana, Shreya Reddy

No two ways about it- Director Shankar?s ?S Pictures? has consolidated its reputation as the best production house in Tamil cinema. They make commercially viable quality films. Once again Shankar has introduced Vasantha Balan a director who understands the nuances of making a realistic film with well-etched out characters and strong screenplay.

Welcome back to real, solid film making in an era of shallow, fraudulent larger-than-life movies, here is the definitive movie with a moral framework. This one works and keeps you riveted. Veyil is one straight from the heart. The story is told through the protagonist Murukesan (Pasupathy) who recalls his childhood in a village near Virudhanagar. His father is a butcher who works hard to bring up his four children two boys and two girls and has a happy family.

Murukesan dotes on his younger brother Kathir and his weakness, like any other adolescent is love for movies (especially MGR films) that are screened in a local theatre. But one day life changes for him when his father catches him red-handed from the theatre after he bunks school. The child is severely punished and he runs away from home after taking money and jewels.

His journey is quiet exciting with its share of happiness and sorrows. He is taken under the wings of a theatre projectionist in a nearby town and slowly the theatre becomes his home. He falls in love with Thankam (Malavika, a TV actress from Malayalam) a beautiful girl who lives opposite the theatre but their love story does not have a happy ending. Murukesan is dejected after Thankam?s death and the theatre is demolished.

He decides to return home after 20 years. The rest of the film is all about Murukesan?s mental turmoil?s as he is caught between the deep love showered by his younger brother Kathir (Bharath) who runs a successful advertising agency and his guilt of not being a responsible son or elder brother. There is parallel love story between Meenakshi (Bhavana), an innocent girl and Kathir. Then there is Pandi (Shreya Reddy) who is Murukesan childhood sweetheart.

It is actually in dealing with Murukesan?s character especially his relationship with his father where Vasantha Balan?s brilliant touch comes to the fire. One of the best scenes in the film is when Murukesan comes home after 20 years and his father?s reaction to the situation. Hats off to all the actors- The father, mother and of course Pasapathy who perform with subtle emotions that will stay with you for long.

Quite naturally, it is Pasupathy who presides over the show magisterially. His composure, dead pan expressions, happiness and tears are tangible, real and touching. Bharath as Kathir has given a knockout performance as the aggressive and responsible guy just like how he was during his childhood. Bhavana, Shreya and the new girl Malavika are all apt in their roles. Newcomers like the father, mother, sisters, friends are all life-like.

A.R.Rahman?s nephew G.V.Prakash is the musical discovery of the year. He has given some memorable tunes with meaningful lyrics of Na Muthukumar. The superbly picturised Veyilodu Vilaiyaadi? and Uruguthey? stands out along with the rousing background score. Cinematographers Madhi and Azhagappan?s camera gives the film the feel and touch of rural Tamilnadu.

On the downside, Veyil totters in the second half with too many songs, and sentimental mush. The scene in which the family accuses Murukesan of stealing his sister?s jewels and his breakdown were too mushy and seeped in pathos. All this mars the tempo and the last 15 minutes needs urgent trimming. The first half of the film seems to be inspired from the Italian master Gisuppe Tornatone?s classic Cinema Paradiso (1988).

Bravo Shankar .. You have the guts. If you like good cinema, go and watch Veyil.

Verdict: Very Good

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