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Vai Raja Vai: Curse of the second half

 
 

entertainment-11430543663Aishwaryaa Dhanush’s debut film, 3, was supremely entertaining… correction, the first half of the film was supremely entertaining.

It suffered from bipolar disorder — much like its protagonist — with its first half disjointed from the second.

With Vai Raja Vai, Aishwaryaa has gone unapologetically commercial and this time, her protagonist, Karthik (Gautham Karthik) suffers (or should I say gains?) from a Nostradamus-like power to predict.

I can’t think of another psychological condition so conducive to commercial cinema. We don’t need a doctor explaining it to us like in 3 or even in the recent I. Right at the beginning, we see a baby cry for the first time, two months after his birth. No sooner than his father picks him up from the cradle, a ceiling fan falls over it. We understand the baby’s ‘power’ right away. Growing up, the boy aces all exams, thanks to being able to predict questions.

Add to this, interesting premise of greed for money, and you have so much potential for a wish-fulfilment film that makes the early portions of Vai Raja Vai incredibly fun. Backed by Gautham Menon-esque romantic voice-overs and funny one-liners by writer Madhan Karky (like ‘Oru ponnukitta rahasyam solradhum, oru message-a 1000 perukku anupardhum onnu dhaan’) and you’ve got a winner in your hands — or so it seems.

It is when the setting shifts from small-time spot fixing in cricket matches (in the first half) to roulette in Goa (in the second) that the film takes a sudden turn for the worse. Instead of tightly written set pieces that explore various probabilities of intuition — how about scenes that show him mastering his skill? — the director floods us with a barrage of underdeveloped characters, all failing to make an impact. This includes M.S. Bhaskar, Manobala, Taapsee Pannu and even the much-hyped cameo of Kokki Kumar (Pudhupettai) by Dhanush.

As I walk out of the theatre, I can’t help but feel that her second film too suffers from bipolar disorder.

Source: The Hindu

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