Director N. Lingusamy
Actors: Madhavan, Arya, Sameera Reddy and Amala Paul
Director Lingusamy teams with Madhavan in Vettai (Hunt) inTamil after a decade when Run was made. Vettai, which may well attract a Hindi remake like Singham did last year, treads the clichéd path of cops and cads. Set in the Tamil Nadu town of Thoothukudi, the best part of the movie is the curiosity it evoked in me about how Madhavan would fare as a policeman told to clean up the town of two vile gangs, out to destroy each other and, in the process, rattle peace and quiet. (In one of the early scenes, we see a woman being burnt alive right outside a police station by the gang members.)
Madhavan is clearly a miscast here: extremely convincing as he is as the wimpy guy abhorring anything remotely violent, the actor (who was just splendid in Tanu Weds Manu and would hopefully not disappoint in the soon-to-open Jodi Breakers) appears uncomfortable as the guy in uniform forced to bash up baddies. This is not his cup of coffee.
Playing the elder brother, Thirumurthy, to Arya’s Gurumurthy (who remains as wooden as ever), Madhavan appears often wasted in a plot that revolves around two siblings (with Gurumurthy playing proxy policeman for a considerable length), who smash the goons and (in their free time) sing and seduce two sisters, essayed by Sameera Reddy (in arguably one of her most impressive performances) and Amala Paul. But of course the women have not really much to contribute when most of the screen time is used for the most unbelievable action sequences. I fail to understand how long Indian cinema would go on in this trajectory of trying to impress audiences with a content that is downright silly.
Gurumurthy wears a yellow hood to disguise himself as he goes about like a battering ram, substituting for his brother, who hides for most part in the police jeep as the fierce fights unfold. And, it takes just one defining moment later for Thirumurthy to get up and transform into a fearless killing machine himself.
What disturbs me most is that beyond this “entertainment” lies a message that Lingusamy may or may not have wanted to be read: violence is the answer to societal ills, and a cop has the licence to turn into a Bond.