Reviews

Vellaikaara Durai: Harmless fun targeted at B & C centres

Vikram Prabhu and Sri Divya in Vellaikaara Durai

Vikram Prabhu and Sri Divya in Vellaikaara Durai  

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Soori (Police Pandi), Vikram Pabhu (Murugan) and their gang take a loan to buy a piece of land and call it Ishtalakshmi Nagar. Moments before flipping this land at a handsome profit they realise that they have been conned into buying a burial ground. They are forced to repay the debt and they hit the bottle when they get kidnapped by the loan shark Vatti Varadhan (John Vijay). Vatti doesn’t believe in repayment and instead coerces his debtors into carrying out odd jobs in his house, all dressed in white, like in prison. It is here that our hero falls for Yamuna (Sri Divya) who he believes is the loan shark’s sister, and what follows is anybody’s guess.

There is a scene where one of Vatti’s debtors excitedly boasts of watching Annai Oru Aalayam. Hearing this, Police Pandi, another debtor, mocks him for watching the 35-year-old film now — an indication that the former has lost track of the passage of time. Considering how old-fashioned Vellaikaara Durai is, it doesn't seem like the makers too have seen any newer films.

The film takes a story template and incorporates into it one ridiculous joke after another; so consider the disbelief when you realise that you’re laughing uncontrollably 10 minutes in, even as you look around hoping no one you know is in the same theatre.

To be fair, the film only tries to deliver on what it promises — a laugh riot with all the masala elements to satisfy the B and C centres.

The film’s surreal setting is conducive for comedy, but it feels contrived when the narrative proceeds to serious matters such as the action scenes and a flashback. Even as Murugan and Yamuna take their own sweet time to fall in love, we’re waiting for Soori to bring back the laughs — the film’s only strength.

Like the director did with his last film Desingu Raja, some of the lost momentum is regained as we come upon a quirky mess of a climax. With a wedding, a suicide bomber, terrorists and foreigners from Interpol, we get an idea of what the film set out to achieve.

While it may be risky to recommend this film to a friend, Vellaikaara Durai could be the secret pleasure you would never admit to have enjoyed.

Vellaikaara Durai

Genre: Comedy

Director: Ezhil

Cast: Vikram Prabhu, Sri Divya, Soori

Storyline: Boy who takes a loan falls in love with the fiancé of the loan shark

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