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18-vayasu-review 18 VAYASU MOVIE REVIEW
Review by : Behindwoods Review Board

Starring: Johnny, Gayathiri
Direction: Panneerselvam
Music: Dinesh & Charles Bosco
Production: Nic Arts

We have had many movies in Tamil where the lead protagonist has some mental ailment. Starting from Sigappu Rojakkal down to some of Dhanush’s recent movies, there have been good films that have taken some psychiatric disorder and explored the same. Now we have 18 Vayasu, yet another movie talking about a mentally challenged youngster.

Here Karthik (Johnny) is a young man who has a unique disorder wherein he starts imbibing an animal’s characteristics whenever he notices one, under stress. A haunting incident during his childhood and physical abuse from his negligent mother are the reasons for this unique behavior.

He encounters Gayathri (Gayathri) and she is like a breath of fresh air in Karthik’s life. Mutual liking slowly blossoms between the two until Karthik’s disorder catches up with him and now he is forced to run for cover from the police. We also have a team of doctors who are ready to help him.

Another eccentric elder man named Jackie (Sathyendra) also joins him on the run while Gayathri is also inevitably lured into this chase. What happens to Karthik, whether Gayathri understands him and whether he is cured? Watch 18 Vayasu to find out.

Director Panneerselvam hasn’t resorted to violence, gore or skin show despite the scope for including such elements. The scenes when Johnny imbibes those animal instincts must have been a tightrope walk for the director and he has come out clean. The bull fight towards the end is a rocker.

Johnny is suited for such unconventional roles. In the entire movie he doesn’t remove his head-gear even once. The scenes in the first half when he slowly develops feelings for Gayathri are really well done by the young actor. The scenes with the old neighbor also make an impact. He has imbibed the characteristics of a dog, cat, bat, snake, bull and even a small insect. Must have been quite an effort!

Gayathri is a good find and she looks cute and emotes well too. Among the other characters, the desperate girl who tries to woo Karthik in the start is an irritant.

Rohini is wasted as the doctor who is ever-willing to help Karthik. Sathyendra as Jackie is a revelation though he goes overboard at times in his eccentric act. His constant dialog ‘Kaadhal Vaazhga’ is a pain at times. His funny encounters with the police are enjoyable.

Cinematographer Shakthi has done a decent job particularly in those animal instinct scenes.

The BGM score is a plus. The songs by Charles Bosco and Dinesh Kanagaratnam are average and wrongly placed. As a result, though the songs have been shot and choreographed well, monotony sets in.

Another minus in the movie is its length and the absence of detailing about Karthik’s disorder. The audience might also lose interest as tedium might set in, given the presence of eccentric characters who repeat their characteristics often.

On the whole, though a worthy attempt, this movie might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The director has taken his own sweet time to complete the movie. This might result in restlessness among the audience. If you are willing to forgive such speed glitches and some streaks of boredom, 18 Vayasu might appeal to you.

Verdict: Worthy attempt, but the subject and the slow narration will test patience

Tags : 18 Vayasu, Johnny, Gayathiri, Panneerselvam, Dinesh & Charles Bosc
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