Vanakkam Da Mappilei Movie Review: Uninspiring and problematic
An uninspiring story, cliched screenplay, bland storytelling, and sleep-inducing comedy sum up this film, which is now streaming on SUN NXT
An unnecessary, cliched dance number is how GV Prakash's latest film Vanakkam Da Mappilei begins. Aravind (GV Prakash) and Swaminathan (Daniel Annie Pope) are two friends who, after suffering heartbreaks in their respective love lives, vow to get married on the same stage and the same day. After a few years, Aravind, who is now working as a marine engineer, realises that Swaminathan is getting engaged to his moraponnu. He rushes to the engagement and asks Swaminathan to postpone his wedding by six months. "I will find a suitable girl within the six months," he asserts.
A problematic scene follows involving Swaminathan's fiance and her sister. Since the release of Sivaji (2007), many have voiced out the issues with the Angavai - Sangavai scenes. Here, we have a Malarvizhi and Kayalvizhi. Aravind looks at the latter and goes, "Market la vela pogadhadhu laam enakku thalli vidriya?" Both these women are considered last resort options for the two male leads, and nothing more.
Director: M Rajesh
Cast: GV Prakash Kumar, Amritha Aiyer, Daniel Annie Pope, Anand Raj
Streaming on: SUN NXT
Eventually, after some extremely boring scenes, Aravind comes across Thulasi (Amritha Aiyer) and falls in love. Just a scene after meeting her, he bullies Thulasi by faking an interview opportunity. Swaminathan masquerades as a recruiter from BBC, and the job interview scene is painful to watch. Yogi Babu makes a random cameo appearance in the scene that follows. Shortly thereafter, we realise Thulasi is also in love with Aravind. How they fall in love is unintentionally funny. The intentional jokes, meanwhile, are terrible. A dialogue that comes later in the film sums it up - "Enakku mattum yen ipdi cringe-ahve nadakkudhu?"
By this point, an hour and 10 minutes have elapsed and we still don't know the conflict of the film. We are then introduced to Thulasi's father (Anand Raj), a 40-something widowed man. He now poses a new threat to Aravind's plans to marry Thulasi — he asks Aravind to first find him a suitable bride. At last, we have a conflict and an unexpected one at that. In a film with very bad comedy, Anand Raj's character comes as a relief. However, the film squanders the potential of a good idea.
Eventually, after every conflict resolved, with less than 20 minutes of runtime left, another issue pops up. This one follows the cliche template of most of the film. A senseless argument ensues and creates a rift, all so a 'soup boy' song sung by Dhanush can be fit in.
The sub-plot between Aravind's mother and father, played by Pragathi and Jayaprakash, is actually interesting and we wish it was given more importance. This also gives good dramatic relief in this tedious film.
In an already problematic film, the climax pushes things off the edge. The consent of a male character in a matrimonial arrangement is taken for granted. In a film that has a middle-aged single father wanting to get remarried, the final shot of the film shines a bad light on single mothers wanting to get remarried.
The uninspiring background score doesn't help matters much. And the attempt to appeal to the younger section of the audience by including trending TikTok scores like Kirubha Kirubha by Pr Darwin Ebenezer and Tommy by Yashraj Mukhate, doesn't work either.
With too many issues and no takeaways, Vanakkam Da Mappilei has nothing worth rooting for. To quote from a song in it, this is nothing but a 'Tata Bye-Bye' film.