The strand of healthy humour that runs through Vikadakavi (U) saves the film from being just another run-of-the-mill romance. The acronymic title stands for names of five close friends, who are together from childhood — Vinod, Kavitha, Diana, Karuna and Virumaandi. First-time director Krishnan vests each of them with individuality. The absent-minded Diana, the slow and sloppy Karuna and the corpulent Virumaandi who can deafen an entire village with his high-decibel voice are interesting characters — levity is an enhancing feature of Vikadakavi.

The story begins at a village steeped in superstition. The people believe that babies born in the Tamil month of Aadi bring only problems. Five such children grow up to become an inseparable group of three boys and two girls. From the manner in which the sentiment is stressed upon, you think it is going to form the fulcrum of the film. But you find no mention of it after the opening segment!

In our films, generally the childhood of the protagonists isn't allotted much screen space. But in Vikadakavi, you get to watch their pranks and idiosyncrasies for an hour and more. Of course, the sequences could have been crisper, but as they are fresh and funny they have you in stitches.

Vinod (Satish) and Kavitha (Amala Paul), the comparatively quiet ones in the gang, are friends-turned-lovers. But Vinod's poverty is a stark contrast to Kavitha's affluent status, and naturally things aren't going to be easy for them.

Emotion wise, Satish, the hero, shines in the scenes where he loses his temper — the rest of the time he's tame. Actually, Vikadakavi should have been Amala Paul's maiden Tamil film. But the best-forgotten Sindhu Samaveli overtook it, and Mynaa came next to help her move on to greener pastures. Looking rather vulnerable and very much the teenager she plays, Amala shows potential. Otherwise the choice of cast isn't entirely apt — the actor who plays Karuna, for example.

It is obvious that Vikadakavi, made on a moderate budget, banks heavily on characterisation, dialogue and screenplay to make an impression. Krishnan, who has handled these departments, doesn't disappoint.

Vikadakavi

Genre: Romance

Director: G. Krishnan

Cast: Satish, Amala Paul

Storyline: An inseparable group of five, their joys and odds

Bottomline: Humour is a highpoint

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