Long ago, K. Bhagyaraj pulled out an unfinished MGR film from the cans and around it wove a story of twins — one bold and the other a lily-livered cop — both played by the director himself. He called it Avasara Police 100 and the film had scenes that featured MGR appearing in flashback. A pretty neat job, you could say. Lingusamy has taken up the premise of the antithetical nature of siblings and has come out with a film that entertains from the word go! Vettai (U) has a festive feel about it. And it is to the ingenuity of the makers that they have timed the release right, viz., the Pongal season.

Brothers (Madhavan and Arya), of which the elder personifies pusillanimity and the younger, courage, are faced with a crisis. The chicken-hearted of the two is forced to join the police force. But with complete support from his bro, he manages until …

Lingusamy and Madhavan team up again after a dream run with Run a decade ago. Probably a matter of taste or even sentiment, the opening song sequence, ‘Theeraadha Vilaiyaattu Pillai,' shot on Madhavan and Arya, with a town-like backdrop and cheerful half-sari clad girls moving about, is so much like the lively ‘Thaeradi Veedhiyil Devadhai Vandha' that Madhavan danced to in Run.

Incidentally, vim and vigour mark the music of Vettai. Yuvan's peppy numbers add spice to the film that has Na. Muthukumar drawing attention with his lyric verses, particularly for the ‘Akkakaetha Mappillai' song. But where do you find a couple which agrees to a marriage proposal based on the green signal given by the groom's brother? Strangely, Sameera and Madhavan don't seem to show even an inclination to see each other before the wedding!

Madhavan re-enters Tamil cinema after a while and carries off the role of a timid cop quite commendably. Not a fit policeman by any stretch of the imagination, yet he looks natural. The line, ‘Enakkae Shuttera,' that reminds you of Run, and his casual demeanour in the villain's den later on are highlights that make Maddy a right choice. The astute Lingusamy sure knows the pulse of the filmgoer.

The younger, trimmer Arya is a perfect foil to Madhavan and the intelligent, happy-go-lucky role suits him well. Like Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill in Double Trouble, the duo seems to revel in disastrous situations, and their enjoyment permeates through the frames.

Sameera Reddy and Amala Paul, the heroines, fill the bill, though they do have their moments of glory, such as Sameera's verbal duel with Arya, and Amala's romantic overtures with Arya in the presence of the potential groom from the U.S. Young, educated suitors from abroad, being depicted as blockheads in film after film, is exasperating. Nasser's appearances are interesting, but his entries and exits that begin and end abruptly are theatrical — more like watching a stage play. Post Mynaa and the recognition that followed, Thambi Ramaiya's talent seems to have been re-discovered by our directors.

The story isn't out of the ordinary, but Lingusamy knows where to place twists and how. From Run to Sandakkozhi and now to Vettai, his action ventures, with the exception of Bheema and Ji, have screenplays that sustain the interest of the viewer. Lingusamy's villains are evil incarnate and his heroes the opposite. Clichés almost, with the black and white of characters, demarcated and predictable. Yet fast-paced narration is his forte, as Vettai proves yet again.

Make a trip to this carnival. The zest could rub off on you.

Vettai

Genre: Action

Director: N. Lingusamy

Cast: Madhavan, Arya, Sameera Reddy, Amala Paul

Storyline: The elder brother is a cowardly cop but the younger is behind him throughout, lending a helping hand.

Bottomline: Don't look for plausibility, you won't find it. Seek entertainment — plenty of it is on offer.

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Tamil Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011