S.B. Film production's Vilai deals with girls being forced into commercial sex. With an issue of this nature in hand, it would be tempting to sprinkle the film with inappropriate scenes bordering on the indecent. Thankfully, director G. Kamaraj handles the scenes deftly and with sensitivity. However, he could have looked into the slow pace of the first half. The film begins with Nandhu (played by Bharani) and his sister Vandana (Ritu) reaching the city. As they travel in a car looking to locate an address, Vandana is driven away to be sold to the highest bidder. How Nandhu gets his sister back forms the rest of the story.

Saravanan, playing the Deputy Commissioner of Police does his role justice, just as Udhayathara does, as one of the girls in the company of Ritu. Sadly, Ritu needs to improve her acting. Fathima as ‘Mirchi' Maya enacts the role with poise and Yogi Devaraj as Farook Bai is convincing. However, it is Bharani who wins hands down from the first frame, for a refined performance. While Prabhakar has done a satisfactory job with the cinematography, D. Imman scores with his music — particularly with Haricharan's song ‘Vilaye Un Vilaiyenna'. Editor T.S. Suresh could have pruned a little more. Produced by M. Sathiya and S. Babu, the film's director must be lauded for taking up a bold subject.

VILAI

Genre: Drama

Director: G. Kamaraj

Cast: Saravanan, Bharani, Ritu, Udhayadhara, Fathima, Shathika, Banu Chander and ‘Yogi' Devaraj

Storyline: How girls are pushed into commercial sex, and the families' struggle to save them

Bottomline: Laudable effort, but could have been better