Veetla Vishesham is the official Tamil remake of superhit Bollywood drama Badhaai Ho. The movie is about a middle-aged couple that accidentally get pregnant, and the reaction of their children to the news. Actor RJ Balaji who was last seen in the fantasy drama Mookuthi Amman is back on screens with his comedy drama Veetla Vishesham. Veteran actors Sathyaraj and Urvashi have played vital supporting roles in the flick. Actor RJ Balaji himself along with filmmaker NJ Saravanan has helmed the flick. So, how has the entertainer come out? Is it sold enough to replicate the success of the original and aid actor RJ Balaji to earn the image of a bankable lead hero in Tamil cinema? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
Veetla Vishesham tells the tale of a middle class family that is caught in a tight spot. Unni Krishnan (Sathyaraj), who works with the railway department leads a humble life with his elderly mother Ammulu (K. P. A. C. Lalitha) and his wife Krishnaveni (Urvashi) and their two children Ilango (RJ Balaji) and Anirudh (Vishvesh). Ilango is a young man in his 20’s who is employed as a teacher and his younger brother Anirudh is doing his high school. Ilango is in love with Sowmya (Aparna Balamurali), the daughter of the school owner he works in. Their relationship has the blessing of his mother. Ammulu is an overbearing mother who tries to dictate terms in the house. So, there is always a friction between Ammulu and Krishnaveni over this. In one instant, Ammulu’s ridicule of Krishnaveni goes overboard which leaves her hurt. Realizing it Unni Krishnan attempts to convince her but what starts off as convincing slides to intimacy, and they end up having sex.
Weeks later Krishnaveni starts to feel dizzy and has a nauseating sensation. She visits a doctor. She gets the shock of her life when the doctor confirms that she is pregnant with a child. She breaks the news to her husband who is clueless as to how to approach it. While they contemplate abortion, Krishnaveni feels guilty and decides to have the child. Now they must break the news to their children. Being coy themselves about the fact, they manage to convey it in an allusive manner. For a moment the family is stunned. Upon coming to terms with the reality, the entire family members find it difficult to deal with the situation, and rather try to evade everyone to avoid embarrassment. Eventually, the news gets public and goes viral among their family, friends, and neighbors who begin to troll them. How will the family handle the situation, and what brings them closer again, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Films based on the lives and emotions of elderly people rarely get made here. In spite of being a remake, Veetla Vishesham is fairly a fresh tale to Tamil cinema. Directors RJ Balaji and NJ Saravanan have fine tuned the script to better suit the sensibilities of the Tamil audience. The duo has used the knot of a late pregnancy to good use to stage situations and draw comedy out of them. The trend of deploying yesteryear song reference to the situations revived by director Lokesh Kanagaraj is echoed in Veetla Vishesham. It adds to the fun. The sections where the parents try to make sense of the pregnancy, then their attempt to convey it to the children, and the children’s issue to process the info are super hilarious.
Alongside the comedy there is a genuine effort to take a progressive tone and question the hypocrisy of people who project themselves as progressive in the society but could not practice it in their family. Like with the RJ Balaji’s character Elango who as a biology teacher shows keen interest in getting his students to be well versed with the sex education, but when the tables turn towards him, he finds it difficult to take the progressive stand when he learns of his mother’s pregnancy. Also, the drama deals with subjects like the right of a woman to choose between a normal or cesarean delivery, and whether or not to opt for abortion, sensibly. On the down note, the film does get a bit preachy in transporting the message it has up its sleeves. The authentic flow is altered and the emotions are tried to be hyped in these segments which induce an odd and enforced sense.
Actor RJ Balaji fits his role well. It seems like Elango is tailor made for him. As usual he shines in the comical portions and gets uncomfortable in the emotional parts. Veteran actress Urvashi is the show stealer of Veetla Vishesham. Her timing and expressions are simply brilliant. She makes even bad jokes enjoyable. Veteran actor Sathyaraj tags along and gets into the party for his part. Veteran actress Seema does justice to his role. Actress Aparna Balamurali has so little to add to the proceedings. Nonetheless she lives up to her part. Actress Pavitra Lokesh and Shivani Narayanan are adequate. Comedians Mayilsamy, Pugazh, and George Maryan provide inconsistent comical relief. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s tracks do not last in our memory right after they finish playing. Even his background score is not up to the mark but is not bad either. Cinematographer Karthik Muthukumar has done a decent job shouldering the camera for the flick. Editor Selva R. K has complimented the work of his colleague well by placing his scissors at the right spots.
On the whole, actor RJ Balaji’s Veetla Vishesham might not be a solid drama but it sure is worth a watch to kill some time.