By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 13 August 2004
Kamalhassan, Sneha, Prakash Raj, Nagesh
Wonder why Tamil directors insist on making remakes of popular hits from other languages? Especially a film like Munnabhai MBBS full of Mumbai tapori lingo and Maharashtrian nativity. And sadly Vasoolraja MBBS just does not stand up to the original. (Also see: On the sets of Vasool Raja)
Still the film has a larkish quality which makes it `paisa vasool`! The story of a gangster who strays into medical college to become a doctor and heals his patients with love and laughter is moving, if somewhat contrived. It is Kamal Hassan who is the life blood of the film - the scenes were he shifts into a hostel room, discovers ragging for the first time, his antics in the classroom or mugging up for a crucial viva are amazingly hilarious. (Read interview: The casting was apt for Vasoolraja: Saran)
Rajaraman (Kamal Hassan) is a goon who settles financial disputes through intimidation using muscle power and leads a carefree life. Every year, Raja?s parents (Nagesh and Rohini Hattangadi) pay him a visit thinking that their son is the city's top doctor. (Also view: Sneha at her best, images!)
Overnight his place becomes a spic and span clinic with patients! Nagesh bumps into an old acquaintance who is the dean of a Medical college Dr Viswanathan (Prakash Raj) who practises laughter therapy to bring down blood pressure and thereby tension! (Also read: Alwarpet Andavan arrives!)
They decide to get their children Raja and Janaki (Sneha) married but unfortunately for Raja, the charade comes to an end when the Dean reveals his true profession to his heartbroken father. To prove himself and to take revenge on the Dean, Raja with the help of Vaddi (Prabhu) and Karnas fudges the medical entrance exams and joins college to make life miserable for the stressed out Dean.
Munnabhai MBBS's strongest assets were its screenplay and dialogues but here Crazy Mohan?s dialogues are not so funny. The script of Vasoolraja goes awry post interval as a layer of emotional corniness begins to set in and the two songs shot in Switzerland could have easily been done away with in this otherwise smoothly paced fun flick. The songs tuned by Bharadwaj are a major let down.
Kamal Hassan dominates the film as Raja and his comic timing cannot be matched by any other actor. Sneha does a routine role and the on-screen chemistry between the lead pair is missing. Rohini Hattangady, Nagesh, Crazy Mohan and Jayasurya are just adequate while one wonders why a gifted actor like Prabhu was wasted in that role made memorable by Arshad Warsi in the original. He does not have much onscreen time and his role is not properly carved out. Prakash Raj is disappointing.
If you are not looking for a highbrow evening but just fun and laughter Vasoolraja MBBS is the right tonic.
Verdict: Paisa Vasool
Oh Manapenne team has replicated the magic of the original in their own way!
The film is a young adult rom-com designed in the vampire-thriller genre
Bommarillu Bhaskar's film looks interesting on paper
Director Shoojit Sircar manages to arouse patriotism in each viewer