Don't let the title, 18 Vayasu, mislead you into thinking it is a sleazy flick. It isn't.
The illicit affair of an abusive wife (Yuvarani) compels her husband to commit suicide in the presence of his only child Karthi (Jacky). His death has a devastating effect on the child, who suffers from a strange psychological disorder — which makes him display the characteristics of any animal he comes across, when anxious or under pressure. In this scenario, he meets Gayathri, an orphan. While Gayathri is harassed by her caretaker, Karthi is ill-treated by his mom, who after her husband's death brings in her paramour to live with her. Just when Karthi and Gayathri decide to get away from the depressing situations they are in, Karthi kills his mom. Gayathri, who gets to learn about his mental condition, is afraid and tries to keep away from him. Karthi, who is on the run from the law, seeks help from Dr. Suchithra (Rohini) and another mentally challenged friend Jocky (Sathyendran). Whether Karthi succeeds in winning back Gayathri's love is what the film is all about.
Jacky, who impressed in his earlier films such as Renigunta, is not convincing as the mentally unstable Karthi, primarily because the character isn't well etched. Gayathri impresses as the helpless teenager who craves protection but is unsure where to find it. In fact, her arrival on screen to replace another character, who, until then, is supposed to be in love with Karthi, makes one heave a sigh of relief. Sathyendran as the mentally unstable friend too delivers.
Director Paneerselvam has packed a simple script with preachy messages, making the film boring in parts. He could have reduced the number of characters stomping the screen and cut out the unwarranted dialogues. Cinematographer Sakthi does a commendable job. The music for three of the songs scored by Dinesh-Charles Bosco is good, but nothing special. 18 Vayasu is a film that could have been a lot better, had the script been taut.
Director: R. Panneerselvam
Cast: Johny, Gayathiri, Rohini, Sathyendran, Yuvarani, Fazil, Priya, J S Technicians:
Storyline: A boy suffering from a strange psychological condition and an orphan girl fleeing from the desperate situation she is in fall in love
Bottomline: Watch it if you have nothing else to do