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Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Movie Review

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is about a young man who goes to Mumbai in search of livelihood but ends up embroiled with the mafia world which exposes him to violence and bloodbath. Actor Silambarasan who was last seen on screens in an extended cameo part in the crime thriller Maha is back on screens in the lead role in the neo noir gangster film Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu. Actress Siddhi Idnani has played female lead in the movie. Director Gautham Vasudev Menon has directed the film. Writer B Jeyamohan has co written the script. So, how has the neo noir gangster drama Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu come out? Will it help actor Silambarasan to regain his lost image as a bankable lead hero, and bring director Gautham Vasudev Menon to the winning zone? To know that let us get in to the movie review. 

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu New Poster 01

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu New Poster 01

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu follows the life of Muthu aka Muthuveeran (Silambarasan), a young belligerent graduate hailing from a humble family in Tuticorin. He goes about collecting prickles during the day. His life begins to spiral south, when fire erupts in the field he is employed. Muthu’s boss accuses him of the fire, and threatens to call the cops on him. Enraged Muthu, throws a death threat at him. When his mother Latchumi (Raadhika Sarathkumar) comes to know of his aggressive conduct, she is worried sick of his safety. She approaches her brother Chermadurai (Bava Chelladurai) to arrange for a job far away from their hometown. Chermadurai finds a job for Muthu in Mumbai. In unfortunate turn of events, Chermadurai commits suicide leaving a letter with Muthu instructing him to post it immediately. A confused Muthu, decides to go to the address mentioned in the letter. So, he travels to Mumbai. Upon reaching, he finds himself a job in a hotel run by Esakki (R Richard James Peter). 

He befriends a coworker Saravanan (Appukutty) who aids him to acclimatize to Mumbai. So, the hero lands a job. What next? The Romance. Yep. Muthu comes across Paavai (Siddhi Idnani) and is smitten by her. Just when everything seems to turn out well in Muthu’s life, he finds out that his boss Esakki (R Richard James Peter) is actually a gangster who works for a mafia headed by Karukkavel aka Karjee (Sara). There is also another gang in the locality run by Kutty Krishnan Nair alias Kutty Bhai (Siddique). Members of both gangs are always at each other’s throats. Muthu learns that Chermadurai used to work for Karjee. When tussle broke out between Karjee and Kutty Bhai, Chermadurai had left for his native. During when Kutty Bhai’s men stage an attempt on Karjee’s life. Karjee mistakes Chermadurai’s absence for betrayal. Having no way to prove his loyalty to Karjee, Chermadurai commits suicide. Upon knowing the violent history, Muthu decides to leave Mumbai for good. But fate pits him against Kutty Bhai’s gang. Will Muthu escape the underworld without blood on his hand, or will he succumb to it, is what makes the rest of the story. 

Director Gautham Vasudev Menon who has a reputation for cook up films that are lavishly chic has derailed from his comfort zone in Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu. And has tried to present a story of metamorphosis of a young man into a gangster with a touch of realism. He draws inspiration from the real-life tale of Varadarajan Mudaliar, and gives it a spin of his own. Distinct to Gautham Vasudev Menon’s films we witness details of the uninhabitable milieu the Tamil migrants live in, and predicaments they endure on a daily basis for their livelihood. His effort is genuine. He burns ample amounts of time to get us into the locality by presenting us with shots of their everyday mundane activities. We sit through waiting for the eventuality of Muthu’s foray into life of crime. It happens in a cliched fashion at the interval block. But surprisingly, not cutting a mass figure out of the moment. Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is not an adoration of gangster life. Rather offers the grim reality of life. That is what makes it special. 

When the film enters the second half, it gradually starts to lose its grip over details. It’s an utterly war between two rival gangs. Just like the nature of war itself, emotions go irrelevant and survival becomes the ultimate goal. Muthu and his men go about doing what it takes for them to gain dominance. But unfortunately, the film does not convincingly convey what drives them to stand and fight. Muthu very well might have simply returned to his native. Perhaps, details of it are held in for the second part? Also, the character arc of the female lead, coupled with romance tracks seem completely out of place in the plot. It sort of feels forced, and just serves as mere distraction from the main proceedings. In the end, Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu leaves us with a lot of questions that need answering, setting up the ground for part two. 

Actor Silambarasan is natural. He shoulders Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu beautifully. He looks fitting as an impulsive reckless boy when he is introduced to us. And handles the transition from impulsive boy to a dreaded gangster effortlessly reinforcing yet again that he is a top-notch performer. Actress Siddhi Idnani does not have much to alter the proceedings. Nonetheless, she has done justice to her part. Veteran actress Raadhika Sarathkumar makes her presence felt even in a short screen space. Actor Umesh Kaushik pulls off his role smoothly. Actor Siddique is exceptional as usual. Actor Aadithya Baaskar serves the purpose for which he was brought on board. Actor Neeraj Madhav is functional. Actor Shivamani is operational. Actors Deepak Dutt Sharma, Aangelina Abraham, Appukutty, Jaffer Sadiq, Bava Chelladurai, Kavithalayaa Krishnan, Tulasi, Sara, and R Richard James Peter Rose have all chipped in and have played their part well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music director A R Rahman is not at his usual best. Except for ‘Mallipoo’ no other tracks last in our memory. But he makes up for it with his splendid background score that elevates the movie to a whole new dimension. Cinematographer Siddhartha Nuni has done a fine job covering the drama. He has set up his camera at right spots in the best angles possible. His visuals are vibrant and colorful. Editor Anthony brings forth his editing dexterity and enhances the work of his colleague with sharp cuts. 

On the whole, Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu aspires to be a nonconventional gangster movie but falls a tad short of it.

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