REVIEW: Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu

A well known plot becomes tiring as it makes an effort to stand out.

When attempting to create a particular plot or genre, it makes sense to adhere to a template. But when a movie takes a unique approach, that’s when it really stands out. VTK is one such attempt, but it ultimately only succeeds to a limited degree. The familiar plot in VTK is that a “nothing” but brave boy from a village in southern Tamil Nadu goes on to become one of the most powerful gangsters in Mumbai. 

Gautham Vasudev Menon executed the 1st half of the movie spectacularly with Jeyamohan’s powerful dialogues, steady character  buildup and their tough life journey. STR’s acting was tremendous and truly the anchor of the film, we can see the hunger for performance that he missed out on all these years. Radhika, Siddhi have performed their parts really well.  “Marakuma Nenjam” song is placed so beautifully that it elevates Muthu’s journey. ARR’s background score definitely lifted the whole movie to a stronger position. Especially his work on some fantastic stunt sequences by Lee Whittaker are the eye catching moments. There are a handful of single shot scenes with songs and stunts and are so exhilarating to watch and left us in awe.

The dialogues and scenes in the 1st half were meticulously vetted out to make sure that the audience stays with Muthu’s life journey but they lose the audience in the 2nd half with cliche moments and half baked clumsy dialogues. The scene where STR asks Siddhi’s dad for permission to marry her and STR gives money for him to accept their marriage. Troublesome. At some point, we start to predict things and wish those old school moments don’t repeat but that’s exactly what happens. 15 mins after the interval block was a complete face palm moment for me.

Though we are aware of the sequel, the sudden jump in the story with Muthu becoming a gang leader and his emotions with his son turn out to be a huge disconnect. STR ‘s transformation from simple timid boy Muthu to fearful gangster was not justified in the 2nd half. Muthu’s confusion and survival instinct in the underworld was showcased astonishingly but something was lacking. Anyway, let’s say it was for the story but for me the movie was the 1st half. I hope the sequel will fill in the gaps and get back up being what the movie is supposed to be.