Arjun playing patriot is the norm. This time he joins hands with Mammootty and goes for the terrorists' jugular in Vandhae Maataram (U/A). The film, which has been in the making for quite a while, has militancy as its theme. VM doesn't begin on a racy note but picks up momentum soon. Yet sustaining viewer interest is a problem because cogency is a casualty.
The two heroes make an imposing duo. But the director fails to cash in on their screen presence and potential. The same goes for the underutilised heroine. You can't believe that it's Sneha doing such a seen-one-moment-gone-the-next kind of role — exactly four scenes where she has very little to do, besides a song sequence with Mammootty! Probably it is one of those rare occasions where Arjun doesn't have a pair to prance around with! Hence without distraction he takes off on his regular bashing trip.
Militants have entered Tamil Nadu to create havoc and IB decides that officer Gopikrishnan (Mammootty) is the right person to gun them down. Gopi in turn selects Anwar Hussain IPS (Arjun), a police officer, to help him. The law-enforcers Arjun and Mammootty use an intelligent ploy to corner the culprit, but sadly the execution is confounding.
With a game plan in mind the incarcerated villain asks to see Gopikrishnan's wife Sneha, and very foolishly he sends her. Despite the bloody track record of the criminal, she is left in his state-of-the-art (!) room without a single policeman in the vicinity to rescue her!
You have to give it to the action king! His zest for stunts shows no signs of waning, and with CG and well choreographed fights (Allan Amin and Anal Arasu) aiding him, Arjun once again proves that he's a past master in action. Thus it's a role straight up Arjun's alley and as always it's a sincere depiction from the actor.
You don't have a comedy track, yet humour comes in the form of a Prime Minister who speaks flawless Tamil and a Kashmiri militant who after a short while in coma suddenly begins to converse in the language, of course with an accent!
Police officer Anwar Hussain chases the culprit over terraces and towers, jumps down buildings and is about to corner him on a terrace when you see Gopikrishnan already waiting there, pointing his revolver at the criminal! How did he get there looking clean and spotless when the chaser and the chased are sweating it out precariously scaling high rises? Probably you aren't supposed to look for logic here.
Imman's ‘Sanjeevana' is a soothing melody, and a contrast to the noisy RR. Producer Hennry's story has substance but his screenplay is found wanting — neither does Aravind's direction help.
Director: Aravind T.
Cast: Arjun, Mammootty, Sneha
Storyline: Infiltration and retaliation
Bottomline: Marred by inept treatment!
Keywords: Vandhae Maataram review