Movie review: VIP is Danush's best masala film, a delight for his fans
Meet Raghuvaran or Raghu. He’s an unemployed civil engineering graduate who idles at home while his younger brother has a well-paying IT job. His father constantly humiliates him, hoping it will goad him to get a job. His mother does what she can to shield him from her husband’s ire.
However, Raghu’s is not your average sob story about a young man trying but failing to find a job. Unlike most people of his times, Raghu isn’t ready to take any job that comes his way in order to make a living. He has principles and integrity, and so he sits at home for five years waiting for that elusive job even though the bane of his life during these years is that everyone asks him where he works. While he waits, he has his share of fun (smoking in secret and partying with friends) and gets his mom to fund his little escapades without his dad’s knowledge. His constant companion is his dog, Harry Potter. Then he meets the sweet, educated and successful girl next door, Shalini (played by Amala Paul).And all this is up-ended when he lets down the person who has supported him the most: his mother. (She dies of a heat attack because he doesn't bother to answer his phone)
After a successful Bollywood outing last year, Dhanush is back to his element in Vellai Illa Patathari (VIP) or as his fans would call it, “D25” (Dhanush’s 25th film). A full-fledged commercial entertainer, the actor shines in the role that’s tailor-made for him by debutant director Velraj. Velraj plays to Dhanush’s strengths by giving him dialogues that he can deliver with panache, a character that fits neatly and dances choreographed to win over Dhanush fans. VIP doesn’t look like a first film, which is a testament to the team that Velraj has put together.
The first half of VIP races with witty dialogues and comedy that has the audience in splits. The repartee between Raghu and his father, and Raghu and Shalini is an absolute treat. Dhanush’s dancing and singing skills come to the fore in this part of the film. Sample this: his father remarks wryly when he sees Harry Potter follow Raghu, "Obviously the same species hang out together." Later in the film, when Raghu's brother urgently needs Rs 40,000 and he hands him the cash, Dhanush says, "It's not important how much money you make; it's important when you make the money." When Shalini and he are hanging out together and she asks, "Why are you making a face?" He retorts, "My face is like that only." It's all designed to bring out the applause and the cheers from Dhanush fans, and VIP achieves this aim.
However, in comparison to the script in the first half, the script in the second half, when Raghu finally gets a job, is a bit of a let-down. The story moves considerably forward, but some of the scenes seem a little far-fetched. Amitash comes in the suave young businessman with negative shades who is all set to destroy Raghu. He does everything he can to stall the project but Raghu triumphs over all odds and completes the project successfully. And incidentally Raghu uses Facebook to get unemployed engineers to come together and help him execute the project.
Smuthirakani as Raghu’s father is memorable while Saranya (who has played numerous on-screen mothers) essays her role with her usual consistency. Hrishikesh (music director Anirudh’s cousin) makes a good debut as Raghu’s younger brother. Amitash plays his role with negative shades adequately. Comedian Vivekh doesn’t have a very significant role and appears only in the second half of VIP.
Anirudh has composed out some exceptional songs for the film (notably What a Karwad, Udhungaga Sangu, Poo Indru Neeyaga) and the music has already become a hit. Dhanush has also sung some of these songs and clearly, he has matured not just as an actor but also as a singer as well over the years. The Dhanush-Anirudh combination has once again lived up to the expectations of the audience.
VIP is a Dhanush film all the way and it is one of his best Tamil commercial entertainers in his career and cleverly, Velraj has catered to a family audience. It is a treat to watch the actor deliver a subtle yet powerful performance. No surprise, then, that VIP has taken the biggest opening in Dhanush’s career so far.
Updated Date: Jul 22, 2014 09:13 AM