Vidhi Madhi Ultaa: Half-baked humour that tries one's patience
The fatigue of the arduous first half returned for the rest of the film after an explosive interval block
What's common between the Hollywood films Final Destination, Unbreakable, The Dead Zone and Minority Report and Tamil films Nooravathu Naal and Azhagiya Tamil Magan? Premonition. But I don't remember seeing this used in a comedy in Tamil or any other language for that matter. That idea, alone, is the redeeming part of this week's release - Vidhi Madhi Ultaa.
Cast: Rameez Raja, Janani Iyer, Daniel Balaji, Karunakaran
Director: Vijay Balaji
The issue with the film is that it neither tries to get serious, nor commits to the humour route entirely, so it ends up as a half-baked one that rarely puts a smile on your face. It's also obvious that the film was on the back burner for a while, what with all the old Rs 500 notes shown in it. But that's the least of their problems. Rameez Raja, who was last seen in Darling 2, maintains a stone face throughout the film and there's not a single scene in which he scores. Janani gets more screen time in this film compared to her previous projects and does a decent job, but the script doesn't give her much scope to perform. I'm clueless as to why Daniel Balaji accepted this film as his role is pretty much just an extended cameo. The rest of the cast is filled with vaguely recognisable faces, who barely make an impact.
The music is pretty decent and I didn't mind sitting through the songs, which, though acting as speed breakers and not being very catchy, were at least visually pleasing. That said, the Boss Song's lines left me in splits. 'Anna thaan da don'nu, katathey nee scene'u, annan kayil vechikina 108 van'nu,' is the opening line of this song that's got Karunakaran shaking his legs along with his sidekicks. It's probably his second best after Kaasu panam from Soodhu Kavvum. The VFX in the opening credits was amusing, but in one particular scene, a digitally made cat looked so artificial that it reminded me of the Raja chinna roja song. Also, talking about the credits, Soori introduces the characters in a voice-over, but what left me doubled over was how he pronounced (or rather, mispronounced) 'injurious' in the statutory warning card. If only the rest of the film had this level of humour!
Director Vijay Balaji seems to have learnt the tricks of handling a story where different characters come together at the end, from his mentor AR Murugadoss. But his work in the screenplay and story departments could've been much better. Until a reveal close to the intermission, the film moves at snail's pace, and even though this reveal got me a bit excited, the fatigue of the arduous first half returned for the rest of the film and put an end to all my hopes.