Director Bala's characters and their pain are always visceral, in other words the pleasure of his films always lies in its dystopian vision. So those who are familiar with his brand of entertainment will never expect escapism. The ordinary folk (read de-glamorised people), find their lives not as bad as those represented on screen and sometimes he dwells on matters beyond comprehension. But in a marked departure from his earlier noire films, the director shows his funny bone this time and mellows the dramatic tone without losing the emotional sincerity. Vaadu Veedu is a well-articulated drama that comes alive through Arthur Wilson's camera. Bala glorifies the thatched roof dwellers, their liquor, their tobacco, their shabby lives, the loud, foul-mouthed women and at times crude and nauseating dialogues but simultaneously makes you notice the simplicity and beauty of their characters.
Step-brothers Waltair (Vishal), a squint eyed, effeminate looking dramatist and Arya (Dhandal Swami) a wanderlust and a thief are both stooges to ‘Highness' (GM Kumar), an unmarried dethroned feudal lord who loves his subjects. The mothers and half brothers are always squabbling while the harassed father is grinding flour. The mother-son relationship brings in the situation comedy in the film; Waltair is washing his mother's clothes and questions her why she can't wear a ‘nightie' instead of layers of clothing like a sari, petticoat, a blouse and finally asks her if she wears a bra too. On her part, the mother's wish is to wear a traditional ornament ‘kaasulaperu' and reprimands him for being an inept thief. They share a drink and raise a high-five while cracking silly jokes on Dhandal Swamy and his mother. The manner and tenor with which Bala handles all the characters were developed with sincere thought and enough depth. There are certain scenes that seem illogical, but genuine feelings overshadow them.
The first half of the story breezes past but later on slows down. The feudal lord confronts a truck load of animals being ferried to the slaughter house, he summons the police and gets the owner punished. The rest of the story is about the criminal returning to wreak vengeance, and the brothers' giving him a fitting tribute.
Acquiring a squint for and complementing it with some fine acting and dressing speaks volumes of a man's love for his craft. Vishal is a revelation and takes one's breath away with his dance in the intro. Arya is impeccable whether he's making wise cracks on Vishal or admitting his affection for him. The senior ladies are simply awesome and Madhushalini and Janani Iyer lend credence to their roles. Full marks to GK. Put the critique and the trade pundit in you behind and enjoy the rural comedy, action entertainer.