CAST AND CREW
Production: Kalpathi S. Aghoram – AGS Entertainment
Cast: Daniel Balaji, Dhanush, Gautham Karthik, Gayathi Raghuram, Mano Bala, Priya Anand, Taapsee, Vasanth, Vivekh
Direction: Aishwarya R Dhanush
Screenplay: Aishwarya R Dhanush
Story: Aishwarya R Dhanush
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Background score: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Editing: VT Vijayan
Art direction: Kola Bhaskar
Lyrics: ‘Hip Hop Tamizha’ Aadhi, Dhanush, Gaana Bala, Madhan Karky
Distribution: Studio Green
“Saagara naal therinjuduchuna vaazhara naal naragam aayudum” – That’s AGS Entertainment’s Vai Raja Vai best explained – a film aptly made by Aishwaryaa R Dhanush, daughter and a proven fan (with this movie) of Thalaivar Rajinikanth. Anymore said about the movie might end up being a spoiler. Hence, let’s move on straight to what worked and what didn’t in Vai Raja Vai.
With an eye popping star cast, Vai Raja Vai surely drew heavy attention. Justifying the excitement, all the central actors deliver well.
Gautham Karthik gets to play an average human with an extraordinary feature. Unlike his earlier hyperactive characters, the son of Navarasa Nayagan keeps a straight face throughout, which mostly goes well with his character description.
That blankness in his face is well justified, for his mind tackles myriad emotions and thoughts all at the same time, thanks to his manufacturing defect (or is it an unintended benefit?).
Priya Anand, who plays his girlfriend, is surely an eye candy. Her presence adds an extra color to the film. Vivekh has better scopes to score than Satish, but both have their moments in the movie. Vivekh’s combinations with Manobala tickle hard.
Vasanth, Sri Ranjini and Gayathri Raghuram as Gautham Karthik’s father, mother and sister respectively and Daniel Balaji, as the greedy being with an access to a golden duck are Vai Raja Vai’s massive strengths.
Coming to the powerful cameos, Taapsee is elegant, attractive and spot on. SJ Suryah surprises and kindles chuckles, but is an expendable. But, how do we phrase Dhanush’s appearance in the film? Allow us to do it as short, cool and powerful as his role – “Semma Kalaai”.
Coming to the technical aspects, Aishwaryaa scores with her astuteness in the interval block, pre-climax and the kickass climax. Audiences erupt with applause in these sequences, not only for the charisma of the protagonist but for the structure in which the sequences are written, which is surely a good sign marking audiences’ appreciation to progressive Tamil cinema.
While Yuvan’s songs in Vai Raja Vai have been appreciated and talked about enough, his background scores act as huge pillars to the film, contributing mightily to the suspense elements and thrills.
Velraj’s mix of softness and suave in the visuals are well noticeable. For a film such as this, editing is as important as the story itself. VT Vijayan proves his finesse with his Sherlock Holmes style editing. His work contributes the much required pace for the film.
All that said, the downside of this film lies with the commercial compromises. The film is kept crisp at 2 hours, but it could have been a bit more gripping had the extra songs were chopped.
‘Vandha Kadha’ song featuring SJ Suryah and the spoof sequence involving Vivekh and MS Bhaskar drags the film a bit and takes it away from a gripping tale.
On the whole, Vai Raja Vai is surely a well woven tale of an ordinary man with a single extraordinary possession and the greed of people around him. Aishwaryaa has also brilliantly ended the movie with a potential lead to a joint-sequel of Vai Raja Vai and another celebrated movie.
Are we looking at a potential flick featuring Dhanush and Gautham Karthik?
Verdict: An entertaining commercial film with an exciting difference