Cast: Pooja Umashankar, Malavika Manikuttan, Vinoth Kishan, John Vijay and Amarendran
Director: Balaji K Kumar
Films on child trafficking usually throw at us startling facts and numbers in an attempt to emotionally hijack us but debutant Balaji K Kumar's Vidiyum Munn avoids all such genre cliches and sticks to presenting a well executed thriller that intrigues with suspense from start to finish.
Although inspired from British thriller London to Brighton, to which the makers have not given due credit, Vidiyum Munn stands out as one of the better thrillers of the recent past.
When Rekha (Pooja), a hooker, flees town with 12-year-old Nandini (Malavika) after committing the biggest mistake of her life, her pimp (Amarendran) is given the ultimatum to produce her along with the girl in the next 24 hours to avert a threat to his own life.
It's not the usual thriller flick that you watch and forget as you walk out of the movie hall. Vidiyum Munn lingers on in your head for a long time. Cut from the same cloth used to produce thrillers such as Pizza and Yuddham Sei, it's the suspense that guides the film to the finish line. That suspense, with the help of a few characters, is strongly weaved into a labyrinthine story that you will only appreciate when it reaches its climax.
Having worked in Hollywood for over a decade, Balaji, who had earlier directed English thriller Nine Lives of Mara, gives the film a treatment that's akin to the west in terms of the overall presentation.
One of the concerns of the film might be its slow narrative that runs a little over two hours. The film could've been shorter, considering its genre and the not-so-popular star cast. But thanks to the hypnotic soundtrack of Girishh, the music keeps you hooked for the most part. His music not only heightens the suspense in the story but also serves in building the mood of the film.
Instead of wasting time on explaining circumstances that led Rekha to become a prostitute, Balaji focuses only on the plot which is the hunt for two characters. This is very smart of him and proves that he knows how to use his craft effectively. He also avoids too many characters and throws the spotlight on only those that are linked to Rekha and Nandini.
For not giving credit to the original, Vidiyum Munn will lose some respect from the audience. Although it's not a frame-to-frame copy, but those who have watched the British thriller can find a few similarities in the remake. Nevertheless, it's a bold film that doesn't hesitate to tread a path very few filmmakers even aspire to walk on.
Pooja Umashankar in her comeback role is good but she easily gets superseded by child artist Malavika, who acts effortlessly as the runaway kid.
John Vijay gets a little irksome at regular intervals especially with his style of dialogue delivery but he also provides the occasional laughs with his witty one-liners while Vinoth Kishan plays a powerful baddie with very few dialogues.
Vidiyum Munn is a step closer to alternate Tamil cinema which majorly caters to those with some intellect and not to entertainment seekers.