When the release of a movie is surrounded by a lot of hype or controversies, it often helps with the promotion without the producers putting in much effort. Whilst some movies take full advantage of this, for others however, the fuss seems to fizz out too early. This may be due to the movie being not so great, but at times, although the movie is pretty good, the reviews do not effectively reach out to the public.
Veppam is a movie which I feel is definitely hotter than it has been hyped and should receive more recognition than it has been (although the general reviews have been good, they are not great – which I feel the movie is). It seems like it was too hot to handle from the word go; with change over in production houses and then with the delay in the production of the movie itself. But the end product is definitely worth the wait.
When a classy director such as Gautham Menon ventures into producing a film, one can be confident it will be worth it and his faith in debutant director Anjana Ali Khan has not gone to waste. As a female movie lover with ‘thing’ for dark/intense movies, it is quite refreshing to see a female directorial perspective of a film of such genre.
Despite certain dips in screenplay, one does not feel as though watching a ‘debutant’ directorial venture. A few scenes post-interval leaves seem a little out of place. For example (No Spoilers!) Karthik’s dialogue during the meeting with the father (from jail) – the intensity of his speech appeared irrelevant to the plot. His emotions seemed too restricted considering there as on why he was behind bars. Besides a few such points however, the movie goes smoothly, enough to overlook them.
These days, there are no excuses for any lapse in technical quality, since technicians from Tamil cinema are considered the best in Indian cinema. In some movies in recent times, technical aspects seem to overtake the script, but the balancing in this film, is spot on. Without doubt the cinematography (Om Prakash), editing (Anthony) and music (Joshua Sridhar) of Veppam add the extra layers of intensity to the heat of the script.
With a screenplay as such, the movie requires strong performances and the audience can expect a very clean and crispy portrayal of every character. From the rustic mothers, fathers, town dons and ‘Ammachi’, to the 5/6 key characters in the film, not one gives us a reason to complain.
First to the 2 ‘Kumars’. Karthik Kumar has been seen on our screens for a long period of time, although it has always been in similar roles. He is an accomplished stage artiste and it’s unfortunate we have not seen the variety of performances, which he is clearly capable of. Director Anjana has given him a platform to break his mould and shown he is able to do varied performances on-screen as well as on-stage; paving way for offers to roll in. Muthukumar appears as the brother of the other protagonist (Nani) and voiced over by Gautham Menon (to tremendous effects!). His role oozes tension, anger, strength and determination and it’s through him the viewer sees the unfolding events. I assume he is a debutant, but he is a definite pillar for the movie.
Second, like a cool breeze in the sweltering reel loads, the two heroines from Molly/Tollywood; Nithya Menon & Bindhu Madhavi. Both have contrasting roles with limited screen-space, yet ample scope to perform. While Nithya plays her deglamourized role with a spark in her eyes, Bindhu’s characterization could have been expanded on to match her performance.
Finally, the hot pick of Veppam, the new guy on the Kollywood block who’s made heads turn – Nani. This relatively new actor is making waves in Tollywood and he has definitely made a strong impression in his debut Tamil movie. He’s got the next-door guy look, the charisma and the raw talent, all necessary to pull off his role. He has displayed various shades through out the film, which he does so with ease. His performance is sure to fetch some meaty offers and let’s hope Kollywood does not miss out on this talent either.
It appears with the string of movies released in recent times with the backdrop of gangs, violence, women and drugs; the timing of Veppam has played slightly to its disadvantage as many reviews cite ‘deja vu – clichéd slum story’ etc. Despite the generally positive reviews, the hype is cooling down way too fast. Hence, the aim of this review – keep the heat on Veppam – it’s definitely hotter than hyped.