Rural entertainers make up for a huge portion in Tamil cinema. Despite the predictable path they take, the way in which they are presented decide their commercial success. There are film makers who are well versed in the genre. Director Suseenthiran is one among them who has directed this venture. Actor Jai who was last seen in Capmaari is back on screens with his latest mass action rural drama Veerapandiyapuram. The actor has not given a solid hit in a long time, and is badly in need of one. Actress Meenakshi Govindarajan plays the female lead in the flick. So, how has the film come out? Will it give actor Jai the much necessary success to spike his image as a commercial hero? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
The film follows the life of Siva (Jai), an orphan who grows up to be an artist. When the entertainer opens, we are introduced to two rival gangs in Veerapandiyapuram headed by Chelladurai (V. Jayaprakash) and Rathnasamy (Sharath Lohitashwa). The tension between the gangs has cost many lives in the locality including the members of their family. The government official’s effort for a modus vivendi have all gone in vain. The animosity between them have existed for years and is deep rooted. Both the gangs are in wait for an opportunity to take each other out. Meanwhile, Venba (Meenakshi Govindarajan) daughter of Rathnasamy meets Siva, and is smitten by him. Siva reciprocates her feeling. After a bunch of romance portions, and a romantic number, the couple decides to get married.
Venba is skeptical about her father. She deduces that he would not agree to get her married to Siva. She decides to elope and get married to him with the assistance of her friends. But things do not go in accord to her plan as Siva feels this is not the right manner to get married. Then he goes to deliver a cinematic proposal. He asks her to take him to her father so that he can convince him. She hesitantly agrees and the meet is set. When they meet, Venba is devastated of the events that transpire. What happened on their encounter, is Siva really who he says he is, will Siva and Venba end up together, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Director Suseenthiran’s films will have something for the audience in them. In Veerapandiyapuram he derails from that path and resorts to a formulaic scripting. To be fair, it would be better to put it in this way. Director Suseenthiran follows the rural template to the T in Veerapandiyapuram but gives it a Suseenthiran’s touch for a short temporary phase. He sets up the stage in a done to death manner introducing two gangs and talking about the enmity between them. Later, the flick enters the romance zone. We are thrown with songs that do not fit in the situation. Towards the end of the first half, just when we begin to think there is not a redemption factor for Veerapandiyapuram, story teller Suseenthiran hatch a twist and catch us off guard. We go in to the intermission with a thunderstruck emotion. When we come back in with high anticipation, sadly director Suseenthiran disappoints us. Similar to handing a chocolate to a kid, and immediately grabbing it off from its hand. Unfortunately, we as the child, could not scream and yell.
Story teller Suseenthiran has a flair for holding the pulse of the audience by maintaining a tense flow. His sport ventures stand as the corroboration to it. But Veerapandiyapuram is completely dearth of that. It is moves like a deadwood without any life, then we get a well-orchestrated twist, following which is a bag of cliches. It is sad how film maker Suseenthiran could not get anything right in Veerapandiyapuram. The film disintegrates because of its weak screenplay, poor characterization, and hell even the fight sequences are banal. In a recent interview with a media house, actor Jai had stated that Veerapandiyapuram would be in the lines of his classic entertainer Subramaniapuram and would mark his return to his prime. Well, after watching the film one could not quite understand what factor in the movie drove the star to make such a statement.
Actor Jai tries to shoulder the film on his own. But it is only so much an actor can do in a plot that is so weak. Actress Meenakshi Govindarajan has done her part well in a typical Tamil cinema heroine filler role. Comedians Bala Saravanan, and Kaali Venkat do not live up to the reason why they were brought on board. Actress Aakanksha Singh is adequate. Actor Harish Uthaman makes his presence felt even in a hackneyed character. Actor Arul Doss does well what he does probably in every film. Actor V. Jayaprakash is effective as usual. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, actor Jai has exhibited the musician side of him in Veerapandiyapuram. Sadly, though the songs are not inspiring. Even the background score is not good either. Cinematographer Velraj has covered the drama in the best ways possible. Editor Mu. Kasi Vishwanathan’s scissor work should have been better.
On the whole, despite a solid cast Veerapandiyapuram falls flat because of the high quotient of clichés it holds.