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Veerapandiyapuram Movie Review:  An uninventive, dull revenge drama- Cinema express

Veerapandiyapuram Movie Review:  An uninventive, dull revenge drama 

Take the core revenge angle from Ramayya Vasthavayya, add a dash of plot twists from Vada Chennai and comedy sketches from Aadhavan, and beat them together in a hurry, you have Veerapandiyapuram!

Published: 17th February 2022
Veerapandiyapuram Movie Review

A character in Veerapandiyapuram looks at Jai's Shiva with frustration and says, "Yen pa tak nu solli mudikama ipdi javvaa ilukura?" It was hard not to nod in approval, as it resonates with the film's meandering screenplay, that tries so hard to cover up the wafer-thin story. More disappointing is how the narrow plot isn't novel, and is merely a mishmash of ideas from yesteryear films. Take the core revenge angle from NTR's Ramayya Vasthavayya, add plot twists from Vada Chennai and comedy sketches from Aadhavan, and eureka, you get Veerapandiyapuram, but without the pleasures of such films!

Cast: Jai, Meenakshi Govindarajan, Bala Saravanan
Director: Suseenthiran 

Even Suseenthiran's not-so-great films like Nenjil Thunivirundhal and Paayum Puli, which suffered from similar issues had some standout scenes, but this film lacks any redemption. The craft, in fact, feels shoddy. Seeing the villain thrust a pillow on the camera to showcase a murder is a mediocre visual you don't quite expect from a veteran cinematographer like Velraj. Though the dialogues try hard to remind us that the film is about communal clashes, we never really see this translate into visuals. Very few people occupy the screen, and this indicates that the film was shot during the lockdown, likely on a paltry budget.

During an interview with us a year ago, Jai had stated that Veerapandiyapuram would mark the beginning of his return to Subramaniapuram days. But sadly, the similarities between both films are limited to their titles and Jai's hairdo. Though revenge is the crux of both films, it would be criminal to even speak of this film in the same vein as  Subramaniapuram. There, we saw the solid performer in him; here, he largely looks exhausted and puzzled. Part of the blame must go to the character sketch. But Jai, as the composer, feels more in control, and delivers a noteworthy debut album.

Though Bala Saravanan evokes a couple of laughs, I laughed loudest when Aakansha, playing the  'Tamil teacher' Yashodha, is busy mouthing dialogues in English! Don't even get me started on all the loopholes in this story.

How is Meenakshi's character unaware of a major crime that resonates across the village? How do Sharath's brothers manage to escape without a scratch till the end? How do both rival gangs roam about scot-free after killing a truckload of people? The questions are endless. The original title was apparently Shiva Shivaa; that was pretty much the chant of my exasperation while watching this film.

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