The premise is interesting and rather new for Tamil film watchers. That's it. Otherwise the screenplay dithers its way to an insipid finale, by which time you get fidgety. This, despite Shiva and Charan being at the forefront of action! Va, Quarter Cutting (U/A) seems to have drawn inspiration from the ‘Harold and Kumar' franchise of the West, particularly ‘Harold and Kumar go to White Castle,' starring John Cho and Kal Penn.
If Harold and Kumar, after a whiff of marijuana, go looking for White Castle, a food chain, for a hamburger, and face innumerable odds before they find it, Sura (Shiva) struggles to get a drink, as he has to leave for the ‘dry' Saudi early next morning. It proves an uphill task till he, and his reluctant partner in crime, Marthandam (S. P. Charan) serendipitously land on a lorry load of ‘quarter' bottles! So if it is weed and cannabis in ‘Harold …', it is bottles and quarter cuttings in Va.
When Shiva is introduced as an avid Vijay fan who insists on being called Sura (his name is Sundarrajan), you sit up expecting something novel, satirical and hilarious. But the positives exist only in passing because the directors miss situations that could have been fruitfully worked upon. No harm in taking up a miniscule plot provided it is tackled well.
Trying to rise above the mundane is Shiva, whose ‘serious' English usages offer some genuinely light moments. And doing his best to hold it all together and coming up with a commendable show is S. P. Charan, Shiva's level-headed and sober brother-in-law to be.
Lekha Washington carries off her role of a dimwit quite well. But John Vijay as an old man who apes M. R. Radha's voice and diction without let-up, irritates. He plays the eunuch-like son too — the character reminds you a little of Sampath in Goa though the latter's role was better-etched. Director Venkat Prabhu's influence is also seen in the way Charan tries to hide in a closet, just like he tried to push himself through an inadequate crack in the wall in Saroja.
G.V. Prakash Kumar's solo ‘Thaedinaen …' keeps ringing in your ears, but generally the Madrasapattinam composer hasn't exerted himself much this time. In a bid to keep the mood of the film alive, cinematographer Nirav Shah goes in for bright hues — particularly red and green.
Va derails now and then because of an inept screenplay. Dialogue at certain points sends you into peals of laughter, while in others it sounds too contrived. And nowhere in our films have you watched a coarser line to indicate intermission!
When the effort to make people happy is obvious, the humour element is bound to fall flat as it does in Va. Sadly, the director duo doesn't do enough to sustain either the fun or the tempo. For example, how could they have allowed the pyromaniac in prison to switch on to a lengthy flashback mode when all you expect is some quick action?
The helming team of Pushkar and Gayatri comes a cropper in this comedy attempt, which lacks cohesion. Incidentally, why does the promo (!) call Va a ‘mokkai padam' (boring film)? Confession?