The International Movie Review

A IndTiger.com venture

Vambuchanda – Run of the mill

Posted by harino1 on March 9, 2008

Director Rajkapoor has made it pretty clear that he is not intended to make any effort to make the movie with substance. Though he has shown his ability to execute scenes that are worth to be parts of a masala flick, he hasn’t taken any strain to make it credible.

The first scene shows a co-education collage campus (one wonders why no filmmaker dares to make a film around men’s or women’s collage), in which boys flirt with girls in obnoxious manner. The scene informs you that you could not expect any finesse in the film. It moves on to introduce Prabhakaran (Uday Kiran), son of psychiatrist Nehru and Lakshmi, beating up the thugs. Then comes the introduction of the heroine (Diya), sister of Assistant Commissioner of Police Ravichandrtan (Rajkapoor), which is followed by the inevitable love between the two.

The revelation of the real identity of Prabhakaran comes as a relief after the tiring first hour, which is filled with meaningless fights and absurd romance. The crux of the movie is that Nehru and Lakshmi (Livingston and Sabitha Anand) are not the real parents of the hero. He is the son of an ex election officer Jeevanandam (Sathyaraj), who has become mentally ill after a turmoil in his life. The son is determined to redeem his father’s life at any cost. He gets him to Kerala for Ayurvedic treatment.

Ex minister Dharmalingam (Fepsi Vijayan), who made the election officer’s life miserable, has also become mentally ill because of the defeat caused by the officer. His son Narayanan (Riaz Khan) gets him to the same place for treatment, where he finds that the officer is still alive. He decides to take revenge by killing Jeevanandam and the rest of the story shows how Uday saves his father.

Rajkapoor should be commended for his neat execution of the flash back episode that shows the electioneering. The movie would have been a refreshing entertainer had the director extended such an effort to the entire movie. Unfortunately, he prefers clichés and illogical sequences to move the story and hence fails to impress the audience. As a result the movie as a whole leaves much to be desired.

Sathyaraj as an election officer is more likable than Sathyaraj as mentally ill person. He adds credibility to the role, which he handles with amazing ease. The decision to take up a role suitable to his age too is commendable. Chitra Bhama as his wife is competent.

Uday Kiran, who made his debut in Tamil with K. Balachander’s `Poi,’ has shown that he could handle romantic and fighting scenes like any other young heroes. But he has got a lot to go when it comes to emote.

Diya has been entrusted with the sole responsibility of providing glamour to the fare. She tries to sizzle in almost all the scenes she appears and manages to succeed in a few scenes. If she wants to build up her career, she must look for the roles that demand more than skin show.

Riaz Khan as a powerful villain is flawless, while Livingston and others are impressive. Vijayan as a politician with vengeance is remarkable. Ramesh Kanna provides some relief to the predictable proceedings.

Imman’s music is just about okay but the picturisation of a couple of songs in the first half is good. Suresh Devan has done a neat work with his camera.

It is disturbing to hear the way the word ‘mental’ is used by many in the film. It is quite insensitive, to say the least. Filmmakers should take extra care to ensure sensitive portrayal of persons with any kind of disability and those who are marginalized. Likewise, the way sari is made as a symbol of shame too is objectionable. Gender sensitivity is another area in which Tamil cinema needs to learn a lot.

Overall, ‘Vambuchanda’ has come out as a routine masala flick. But for the neatly packed electioneering episode, the movie has little to boast off.

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