Having made films like Siva Putrudu, Nenu Devunni Bala has managed to earn a good number of followers for ‘his kind’ of films. His next, Vaadu Veedu, with Vishal and Arya, is yet another ‘realistic’ tale, though it lacks the genuine ‘shock’ value that his previous films had.
What’s it about :
Pithaapuram is a village which has a separate street for thieves. In such a street live step brothers Walter (Vishal) and Dandalu Sami (Arya), who have ‘thieving’ competition between them. Problem is while Dandalu Sami seems to be adept at stealing, Walter wants to be an actor, and is patronized by Raja Gajapathi, a respected old man of the village with a soft corner for Walter. While Walter takes care of the old man, Dandalu Sami spends loads of time at the old man’s place. Walter, falls for a police constable Baby (Janani), while Naga Malleeshwari (Madhu Shalini) develops feelings for Dandalu. Raja Gajapathi has such a strong influence in the village, that any person who hurts him becomes the enemy of the entire village. It is during such a time that Raja Gajapathi learns of few happenings in his village, which include few things about Naga Malleshwari’s dad. What are these things, how do both Walter and Dandalu Sami react to the situations form the rest of the story.
What is Good :
Vishal, as the squint eyed and good hearted thief, gets a role that gives him a lot of scope to perform, and he does. Whether he is dancing wearing a saree, or involved in a fighting, or jumping in complete drunkenness, or showcasing ‘navarasas’ Vishal is terrific. Arya, whose eyes caught us unaware in Nenu Devunni does the support role easily. G.M.Kumar who acted as the godfather of the village lives his character and he holds the movie through its otherwise dull moments. Janani, as the overtly talking, police constable is as interesting as Swathi in Ananthapuram 1980. Veteran actresses Prabha and Ambika are a revelation in roles that you don’t expect them to do, sharing body language that is extremely loud, funny and shocking to an extent. However, in spite of an almost flawless casting, and exceptional performances from each of them Vaadu Veedu loses out with screenplay that falls back on clichés towards the end.
What is bad:
As director Bala establishes each character with utmost care he keeps the audiences are kept engaged through out the first half. However, as the story progresses, it has ‘nothing unusual’ when compared to the first half, and the climax is ‘nothing new’ when compared to hundreds of films we watched earlier. Even Bala’s act of making the old man run naked in few scenes doesn’t generate enough disgust nor anguish in the viewer. Because the first half, is too good, the second half makes you feel that you have been robbed off what could have been a terrific tale of emotions. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Vaadu Veedu will be remembered as a film that was made to showcase the acting prowess of Vishal.
Technical Departments :
For a change from the regular movies, ‘dance’ in the movie is justified and Suchitra Chandrabose’s choreography is worth a dekko. Art direction is carefully done too. Bala takes great pains to establish his characters, and their setting. Dialogue by Sashank Vennelakanti is his huge asset, as is Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background and Arthur Wilson’s cinematography. The way Bala conceived the ‘navarasa’ scene, or the fight scene between two warring wives, showcases the control he possesses over the medium. However, his inability to make the film neither a realistic character oriented drama nor a script oriented film, is shocking! It seems he was trying to make a ‘commercial’ cinema with a realistic feel!
Tamil filmmakers should be appreciated for the kind of reality they manage to bring to cinema. Problem is, raw visuals and cliched drama just don’t got together. Watch Vaadu Veedu if you want to watch an out and out South Indian rural comedy. However, if you are expecting a film that will shock you or leave you thinking, you always have Bala’s previous films.
123Telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5
Legend: 5 - Flawless
4 - Must Watch
3 - One Time Watch
2 - Wait for the DVD
1 - Stay Away