REVIEW: Vedhalam – Fan boy scream

Few days after listening to a lot of mixed reviews and lots and lots of Box Office reports I decided to check the film by myself. Beyond anything few Facebook statuses intrigued me to check the movie. It’s been a long time since the release of an Ajith Kumar movie and does the movie match the craving of the fans was the question.

The marketing process for the movie was not abundant like any other movie. Even the marketing was not at the level of the previous movie of the protagonist. I had nearly nil expectations from the movie. Even the petty expectations I had were nearly destroyed once I listened to the songs. The teaser was not much impressive and felt that the music for the same was not attractive. The trailer for the movie was not yet released and even Kamal Hassan’s movie started the advertisements but this movie hadn’t started the ads in the TV Channels for a long time. Just a day or two before the advertisements flooded that too not much when compared to its competitive release Thoongavanam. For a moment I was wondering if the actor or the team gave up the project. Then once the release day came the movie got kind of negative reviews and as the shows went the reviews were mixed. At the end of the day it was fan boy screams. One thing I understood is that this movie is for fanboys and fan boys alone.

I watched the movie in a single screen not in a multiplex, where the spectators are restricted to just watch the movie and cannot scream. The single screams are the place where the fans get excited and shout at the sight of their favorite hero. The movie tested my patience in the first half an hour. Once the action block started the movie at least was moving. If you are not a fan of the actor you cannot even stand for an hour Even if you are a fan you can’t stand during the beginning of the movie. The movie was entirely carried by the actor’s screen presence. The actor’s persona in the real life and his screen presence are the only two things which made the movie to be liked by the fans. This movie is nothing but a tool for hero worship. Especially for actor Ajith there wasn’t any movie that satisfied the same for a long time and the director gave that material to the audience. The movie had no great story. It was the usual template of revenge. The story offers nothing new. The comic at the beginning was irritating and makes you feel why the hell should you think of watching the movie.

The team which made Veeram is the makers of Vedhalam. The prime change is the inclusion of Anirudh as a replacement to DSP to compose the score for the movie. This change created a lot of expectations as the composer has created some stunning tracks in his previous works. Another important thing is he has done a great job with the movie Kaththi. The expectation were peaked but the songs failed to impress many. After watching the movie I felt that the team has given a movie at least far better than their previous venture Veeram. But it is not a substantial movie and just a fanboy treat. The director seems to be clear in his motive of catering the craze present for the actor at the moment and the composer plays a major role in giving the same.

A movie which had no proper pre-release marketing with not even the trailer for the movie releasing, was declared to be a hit by many within a few days of its release. The reason for the victory of the movie is simple, catering to the need of the target market. The Telugu director has decided only to rely on the fans of the actor and has provided them some scenes to scream for. That was all he had in mind and if that’s the case then the strategy was perfect. The composer added the mass factor to the scenes which constitute of praising the actor for his persona or admiring him. Apart from this the movie has nothing much to offer. The marketing for the movie was taken care for free by the fans themselves. Once a fan got something they needed they exaggerated the mass factor and if the same was done for another actor it might not even be noticed. But rather the positive bias towards the actor played a great supporting factor for the success of the movie. Another great marketing strategy used for the movie is the release of the Box Office stats which was not true and even confirmed by the producer of the movie. These reports helped to a greater extent in reducing the detractor score online and made the movie to have a positive net promoter score. The teaser of the movie had a lot of detracting score but at the end of the day the movie is doing well and they are sure of making back the money. As a management graduate I am happy to see that the makers are properly utilizing the brand of the actor in an economic way. The same brand was not even considered few years before and the actor’s movies had hit rock bottom. But recently the actor and the makers seem to have understood the potential of the brand and are making the optimal use of it.

As a movie buff I am just hoping that the actor uses his charming persona to make a good movie sellable. He has the potential to do the same. Having said that it is his choice to do what he aspires. Although as a management graduate I am happy on seeing the usage of a brand in earning profit, as a movie buff I am kind of sad that the brand is being utilized only to make money. The brand has a lot of power to create many markets which would have the potential to give a red ocean strategy to all the movie makers.

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