T he way five-year-olds talk about love and marriage in the opening scenes of Veluthu Kattu (U) is preposterous! Even in real life it is disconcerting to see children talk and behave like adults — the exasperation is several times more when kids on screen are made to mouth dialogue far beyond their age.
Basically, the problem with VK is its flawed story. Lovers (!) from childhood, Kadhiresan (Kadhir) and Arukkaani (Arundhati) continue to be inseparable when they grow up. Arukkaani, who is pampered at home, keeps professing her love for Kadhiresan but does nothing to reform the lover who is now a wastrel, and her family, on its part, doesn't lift a finger to make their daughter see sense. One fine day, all of them wake up to the situation, but it could be a little too late.
How many times have our films shown a hapless, penniless wanderer in the city suddenly finding succour (mostly at the hands of a hip, young woman), easily securing a bank loan that runs into lakhs and transforming into a thriving entrepreneur? Isn't the premise something straight out of a 50-year-old Sivaji Ganesan saga or at least a 15-year-old Rajinikanth film?
Melodrama with the hero sobbing his way down from the village and the heroine at her loudest in the finale adds to the yesteryear feel of VK.
A couple of Bharani's melodies are soothing though the fast-paced numbers are bizarre. Performance wise, new hero Kadhir has quite a long way to traverse, while debutante Arundhati, who looks charming and just right for the role, tends to overact.
You do notice producer S. A. Chandrasekaran's influence in debut-making director Senapathy Magan's Veluthu Kattu. Editing isn't up to the mark. At times, you don't understand the connection between sequences, as the narration is left to hang in strands.
If a small-budget venture with a village backdrop, an all-new cast and a first-time director can make a film run, every film with these features should win hands down. But they don't, mainly because the story has to be fresh and the screenplay riveting. Veluthu Kattu doesn't pass muster on these two scores.
Veluthu Kattu Genre: Romance Director: Senapathy Magan Cast: Kadhir, Arundhati Storyline: The lovers gallivant around the village and when the elders try to draw a line all of sudden, they rebel. Bottomline: Very little substance