“Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven”… An in-form Simbu cannot save a comedy-drama that works as neither

Posted on February 1, 2019

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/vantha-rajavathaan-varuven-movie-review-str-silambarasan-megha-akash/

In Sundar C’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven (I will come like a king), Nasser plays the founder-chairman of a company worth gazillions of rupees. He’s based in Europe. He eats breakfast like a European, with a fork and knife. But his heart is all Indian. It yearns for the daughter (Nandini, played by Ramya Krishnan) he banished from his house, when she married a lawyer (Prabhu) who wasn’t worth gazillions of rupees. Now, he deputes his grandson, Aadhi (Silambarasan aka Simbu aka STR), to repair this rift. But before we see Aadhi, we hear of him. When someone expresses doubt over Aadhi’s abilities, his grandfather says, “You’ve seen him silent, now see him violent.” This sounds like an interval-block punch line, which hints that the so-far-silent hero is now going to turn violent. But here, it’s just rhyming wordplay. Like duty/looty. Like sagalai/ragalai. You keep praying no one, in the context of a folk performance, utters the word “koothu”.

And on to the violent hero. In an action scene that involves much chair-hurling, Aadhi beats up a bunch of extras and says, “Yenna nambi kettavanga yaarume ille. Yenna nambaadha kettavanga dhaan neraya peru.” (Translation: More rhyming dialogue.) Soon, he learns what he has to do to keep the story moving, and joins his aunt Nandini’s household as a driver. The number of people under her roof could fill up a small Scandinavian country, and Nandini lords over them with an iron fist. My heart goes out to Ramya Krishnan. The only thing directors want her to do is glare. And scowl. Sometimes both at the same time. When her husband has a heart attack and Aadhi takes him to a hospital, she isn’t grateful. She demands to know why he didn’t pick a better hospital. It’s a wonder screenwriters bother with different names for her roles when all she’s playing is Neelambari. The stereotyping around Yogi Babu is worse. Every film, apparently, is going to crack jokes about his appearance. That isn’t the problem. After all, the reason Laurel and Hardy became so beloved is that they looked a certain way, and the laughs were based on these looks. The problem is that the joke writers cannot think up anything but the most basic “he isn’t going to win a beauty competition” lines. That’s already getting old.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil