Predictably, the dialogue in ‘Virudhagiri’ (U/A) aims at lionising Vijayakanth the politician. Showering encomiums on the hero at every turn, the first part is the story of an upright police officer, who is also a fearless champion of the underdog. The second half is completely different. Taken entirely from the Liam Neeson thriller, ‘Taken,’ Vijayakanth, the story, screenplay writer and director of ‘Virudhagiri,’ actually does quite a deft job of the lift! (‘Jaggubhai’ was another ‘Taken’ inspired flick). If the father goes in search of his lost daughter in ‘Taken,’ Virudhagiri stalks and subdues his niece’s kidnapper.
The climax, however, brings in racism of international dimensions -- the recent attacks on Indians in Australia provide the fodder. The kidnapper’s logic in these scenes leaves you cracking up!
Three aspects should surely work in ‘Virudhagiri’s favour. Vijayakanth doesn’t have a pair to prance around with. Secondly, by faithfully sticking to the original he ensures that the film is engaging, post-interval. Thirdly (and thankfully) as the English dialogue has been superimposed with Tamil, you don’t hear American actors talking Tamil and vice versa.
Even Scotland Yard pales into insignificance once Virudhagiri decides to tackle criminals abroad! He smells culprits a mile away while white policemen dim-wittedly allow them to go unchecked. Tattooed hulks or wigged men in women’s garb, the law-enforcer nabs them with ease! The conviction with which Vijayakanth handles these issues is unbelievable!
How do you react to sequences where humans are brutally killed and chopped like animals in an abattoir? Believe me, their organs are harvested and exported by the villains, who butcher the bodies with huge knives! I mean, they aren’t even shown using a pair of gloves! And to top it, the corpses aren’t disposed ever! They are bandaged and piled up in cupboards on the walls of the kingpin’s home like mementoes to be preserved for posterity! Hideously funny! The segments touch ludicrous levels that you are not even exasperated -- you prefer to laugh it off!
Sundar C. Babu’s music, the lyric, choreography and the admirable footwork of the main dancer for the ‘Thanaku Tha …’ piece make the sequence a treat.
The maker goes on unfazed as his target audience are the innumerable fans. And he provides them with just what they wish for -- a larger than life image of their hero-turned-politician!
Cast: Vijayakanth, Arun Pandian, Madhuri
Storyline: Of a police officer who works for public weal, and overpowers ruthless criminals, national and international, with absolute confidence!
Bottomline: Grin as you watch!