Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven movie review: STR, Sundar C film is formulaic and has nothing new to offer

STR’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven is an old fashioned masala film that they used to make decades back, with larger than life hero sentiments and melodrama.

Sreedhar Pillai February 01, 2019 15:22:14 IST

2/5

STR’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven is an old fashioned masala film that they used to make decades back, with larger than life hero sentiments and melodrama. The film is a remake of Pawan Kalyan’s 2013 Telugu super hit Attarintiki Daredi ,which has its roots in the ’80s and ’90s commercial potboilers. The film is directed by Sundar C, known for his laugh-out-loud slapstick comedies, but this time the comedy is clearly at the audiences' expense.

Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven movie review STR Sundar C film is formulaic and has nothing new to offer

The subject itself is as old as the hills, about a hero who hides his true identity to unite his family under trying circumstances. It is a plot device used in many MGR mass entertainers. Raghunathan (Nasser) is an 80-year old tycoon living in Spain. He tells his grandson Aditya (STR) that he has only one last wish, to reunite with his daughter Nandini (Ramya Krishnan) living in Chennai, who married against his consent to an advocate (Prabhu). Aditya promises to fulfill his grandfather’s wishes and flies into Chennai, and manages to get employed as a driver in Nandini’s household.

Nandini has two daughters Priya (Catherine Tresa) and Maya (Megha Akash) who are fiercely independent. Aditya initially falls for Priya but she is in love with another guy (Mahat) and he shifts his focus to Maya, the more arrogant of the two. In a song, our hero manages to dance with both of them but finally chooses the younger of the two. Meanwhile, using his brawn, he sorts out some financial issues for his aunt, who had pledged her hotel to a loan shark (Motta Rajendran). Aditya has also an army of sidekicks like VTV Ganesh, Robo Shankar and comedian Yogi Babu. No points for guesing: after 2 hours and 36 minutes Aditya is able to convince his aunt on a railway platform to patch up with her dad.

The trouble with the film is that it falls between two stools. STR has a typical mass hero image while Sundar C is known more for his outrageous comedy capers. From the first song itself STR looks into the camera and spews dialouges, fighting an army of goons and talking directly to his fan base. In fact in some scenes it looks like he is giving fitting replies to his critics and detractors. On the other hand, the fun brigade is a bit of a damp squib; his jokes don’t work as he keeps slapping them in the name of comedy. The STR –Yogi Babu “Ahalya drama” scene falls flat and becomes a drag. The scene in the Telugu original between Pawan Kalyan and Brahmandam was a scream and brought the house down.

The only silver lining in otherwise a long drawn out film is STR’s star charisma, but a weak script lets him down. The two female leads, Catherine Tresa and Megha Akash, don't have much to do beyond being a part of the innumerable songs which are like speed breakers. Character actors Prabhu Ganesan, Ramya Krishnan and Nasser must have been bored stiff doing the kind of roles that they have now in umpteen films. VRV has nothing new in script or treatment and is not engaging.

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