Vellai Pookal Review: A neatly made whodunit thriller
Vellai Pookal is an engaging thriller which is sure to encourage filmmakers to make more films in this genre
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 19 April 2019
Vivek, Dev, Paige Henderson, Pooja Devariya
Debutant director Vivek Elangovan’s Vellai Pookal is a neatly made whodunit thriller which has its moments. The film largely works because of the smart casting and the way Vivek has presented the investigation process to the audiences. It looks like the director is a big fan of Agatha Christie’s novels because we could feel the essence of detective stories in several scenes.
Rudran (Vivek) is a retired cop who comes to the US to spend time with his son Ajay (Dev). Both Rudran and Ajay haven’t spoken much in three years so it’s time for them to bury the hatchet. Rudran also doesn’t want to talk to Ajay’s American wife Alice (Paige Henderson). While Rudran’s visits the US to solve the family hurdles, the sudden missing case in his neighborhood forces him to think like a cop again. We also get to see a teen girl abused by her own dad. How Rudhran solves the mysterious case and how it affects him personally forms the crux of the story…
As said earlier, the idea of casting a comedy actor like Vivek as an investigative cop itself brings so much freshness to Vellai Pookal. Though Vivek couldn’t convince us in emotional scenes, his existing comedy actor image has given an interesting perspective to the audiences. Had any other serious actor/hero played Vivek’s character, Vellai Pookal would have been yet another whodunit thriller in Tamil cinema but now, the film stands out for the bold choice. The screenplay format also borrows the essence from best selling detective novels, a new approach to Tamil cinema. Also, Vivek Elangovan’s choice to cast Charlie as Vivek’s sidekick is another interesting move.
Vellai Pookal is definitely a giant leap for Vivek whose heroic films didn’t fare much at the box office and there wasn’t much critical acclaim as well. Here on, the actor can opt for unique characters and not just the stereotypical comedy roles alone! The rest of cast including Dev, Paige Henderson, Pooja Devariya are adequate.
Technically, the visuals are effective and the camera angles also accelerate the suspense factor throughout. The runtime is just 122 minutes so the entire film is quite crisp with minor flaws here and there, which can be overseen for the unique casting and detective thriller format.
Overall, Vellai Pookal is an engaging whodunit thriller which is sure to encourage filmmakers to make more films in this genre.
Vellai Pookal Verdict: Engaging whodunit thriller