Velaikkaran(2017) – The Worker – A Test of Patience

The glowing reviews by a lot of my friends, senior reviewers, and general hype created around the movie made me think this was going to be a cracker of a film. In the case of ‘Aruvi’ there were polarizing views but here everyone was praising the movie.

Year-ends are usually a day to catch up with friends and watch a movie. So legendary Instagrammer and travel junkie Deepanarayanan – chaps it is a guy not a girl named Deepa Narayanan – before you get any ideas 🙂 sent a booking SMS.

Reached the theatre after an adventurous bike-ride as my charioteer – Krishnan – BP to me being Arjuna (mudiyalai yaenaake kandraviya iruuku ) as I held my phone to follow Google Maps pillion-riding through a relatively free road to reach Abirami Mega Mall.

Dr. Sai the Dr. Strange of our group a neuro-surgeon with a mind-blowing humour sense -and Prince Deepu were humming to a ‘galeej’ number tuned by Annirudh that was a cacophonic assault to the auditory nerves.

So Vyasarpadi and its surroundings is the gangland-badland of Chennai city controlled by Kashi (Prakash Raj) – Arivu (Shivakarthikeyan) sets up a community radio highlighting the happenings in the community and aims to help people come out of a life of crime.

As a web of incidents unfold he ends up joining Saffron a food consumables leader as a sales executive. The interview sequence is well done. Aadhi/Adhiban Madhav played by Fahadh Faasil does a good job, though I really think he deserved a better deal.

The movie seeks to highlight the high level of corruption and malpractices in the packaged foods industry. Essentially we see how over a course of three months a lady gets cancer by eating junk foods. A lot of twists and turns abound as we see see how the hero turns saviour and victor.

I yawned about eight times during the movie – dialogue, dialogue dull dialogue and characters that made me laugh (I am turning cynical perhaps). Marketing and Sales lessons from MBA class get an outlet on the big screen. Throw in red flags, throw in some Communist / pseudo-Communist hogwash, get people to flash their mobile flashlights and hero and heroine hug each other. Plus Nayanthara playing Mrinalinee is reduced to second fiddle here. Too many characters seem to have got a raw deal here in this movie. Wikipedia says there’s a 195 minutes Director’s Cut. God save us!

 

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E for Ezhavathu Manithan – The Seventh Man

Southern Cinema, especially Tamizh cinema is yet to find a villain of Raghuvaran’s calibre. Some of Rajinikanth’s biggest hits have come when Raghuvaran played the villain. Raghuvaran, I believe has acted in all the southern languages and Hindi as well. His portrayal of Bhavani the don in “Shiva” is something that still remains the gold standard for oozing menace with one’s eyes and facial expressions.

Years ago, in his first leading role, Raghuvaran starred in “Ezhavathu Manithan” – “The Seventh Man”. The movie was directed by K. Hariharan based on a story by Arunmozhi. Writing credits include – Somasundareshwarar and the screenplay is by the director himself. He played an engineer who attempts to solve the problems in a factory and the village where the factory is based. Exploring themes of capitalism, communism, environmental pollution, corrupt practices, the government, law-makers, industrialists, gullible villagers and the impact of industrialisation; the movie won a fair number of awards in India and abroad.

The special icing on the cake is the melodious soundtrack based on songs composed by the poet-freedom fighter -Subramania Bharathi. Music by L. Vaidyanathan mesmerises the listener. It is truly a travesty of justice that he did not get enough opportunities in cinema!

I present my favourite song in the movie for your listening pleasure.

 

The movie is available on YouTube – today it may seem a bit dated and artificial, but the movie has its loyal fan-base.