Pandiraj of Pasanga is back — his second directorial venture, Vamsam, (U) has released amidst much hype and hoopla. And the banner and the background of new hero Arulnidhi have made it a much-expected film.

Hats off to Pandiraj for presenting village life, with all its foibles, superstitions, idiosyncrasies, impulses and animus intact! A place where murder and revenge are common and life holds little importance! In the end, it is as though you've been on a trip to rusticity, down South. And the icing on the realistic tale is that Pandiraj has not allowed an iota of vulgarity to enter Vamsam.

The opening scene of the temple fest and a similar sequence in the run-up to the climax test your patience, but the story that unfolds in between is gripping.

As the astute, well-educated village-bred who prefers to toil on his land rather than seek employment elsewhere, Arulnidhi comes up with a neat performance. His underplayed portrayal should go down well with movie-goers. Alacrity and zest mark the tall hero's fights. (Silva's stunt choreography is on natural lines.) But on the dancing front Arul has a long way to traverse. Anbarasu (Arulnidhi) is ostracised by the people of his village only because he's the son of the notorious Ratnam (Kishore Kumar), a henchman with no qualms about killing. So Anbarasu and his mother (Anupama Kumar) live a secluded life in a remote corner of a village. But those who keep seeking revenge for his father's evil deeds do not let them be. Soon Anbarasu is forced to retaliate …

Sunaina plays his sweetheart Malar — a solid role which she does justice to. With very little make-up on, she looks every inch a village girl. Anupama Kumar returns to play the sedate, sorrowful mother once again after Cheran's Pokkisham. The sober demeanour suits her. Commendable efforts also come from Jayaprakash and Kishore who play the cantankerous Seenikannu and Ratnam.

Light-heartedness comes to the fore in the form of Kanja Karuppu. And the signal-less cell phones in the village add to the hilarity. New composer Thaj Noor's ‘Marudhaani Poova Pola' is a melodious number that will ring in your ears for long. But ‘Mannadhi Mannaru,' the opening song, is exasperating, as it goes on and on. How long can you keep listening to the greatness of the 11 families in the village without respite? The constable's explanation for the need for police protection during the temple fest is part of the unending saga.

Similarly, the nine days of the fest preceding the climax tire you. Why did Pandiraj allow such ennui to enter an otherwise fast-paced screenplay?

(You hear that the film has now been pruned. The move has probably lent the necessary raciness to Vamsam.)

Keywords: Vamsamcinema review