Vithagan has garnered interest for quite a few reasons, one of them being Parthiban’s 50th film. Of course, the actor has not made much ado about this fact as he candidly admitted that for audience, these landmarks and statistics are immaterial and a wholesome entertainer is what they expect. Vithagan has also aroused interest because of Parthiban who is known for his intelligent and creative brainwaves which is evident from the tagline of the film in English that states ‘With the gun’ and also a novel post card appeal to viewers along with the movie ticket.
The film deals with the life of a cop and many dons and baddies who traverse his path and the events that happen when cupid strikes him. Parthiban is the Vithagan of the film having shouldered the responsibility of story, screenplay, dialogues, and direction in addition to penning the lyrics. In all these assignments, Parthiban the lyricist and the dialogue writer comes out with honors.
If it is a Parthiban film there would not be dearth of witty one-liners and clever dialogues and Vithagan also abounds in these sectors. For a film to totally engage the audience, it is imperative that every department works in sync and sadly it is not the case in Vithagan. The first half makes you sit up and take note as the content is arresting. Director Parthiban moves his film forward in an exciting manner. There are quite a few smart frames and the one just before the interval when Parthiban throws a wedge to keep his boss’s chair stationery but it lands with a gap wherein a title card ‘gap’ appears to indicate interval is just a sample.
Parthiban’s dialogues as always are full of clever pun and wit. To a remark from Poorna who points out that he laughs, Parthiban’s retort, “Naan ippadi daan kovapaduven’ is smart. The scene at a hotel involving the old crony of villain who insists that he pays the bill is hilarious although it has no relevance to the story whatsoever.
Second half is a complete antithesis of first half which is replete with logical loopholes, ambiguous characterization, many mindless killings sans rhyme or reason and distorted screen play. The film wobbles on to a goal less destination and you wonder what the director has in mind. Parthiban is shown to be very powerful and clever but it is perplexing as to why he takes such a long time to attack the villain. Law and order has taken leave in Vithagan where everybody roams with powerful firearms as toys and no questions asked.
Parthiban is shown as an honest and clever cop who basically covers his tracks intelligently in the 1st half and in just one single shot, he does a total volte face and is shown to be making a very foolish mistake. From then on the viewer is left in confusion about his character as his ideologies are thrown to wind. Milind Soman who features in 2nd half looks as dashing as ever but there is nothing special in him to validate his presence as anybody could have done his role. Poorna looks ravishing and her costumes (Nalini Sriram) are trendy and chic. Romance does not seem to go well with Parthiban as much as action, comedy or taunt does.
Under Joshua Sridhar’s music, some songs are hummable and the picturization in a few numbers is praiseworthy. White women dancing in black saris in the melodious ‘kkudhe’ number is an interesting conceptualization. In the ‘thanana thanthanana number, the flowers in the love struck Poorna’s sari turning into actual flowers shows the aesthetic taste of the director.
Toting up, Vithagan is like an inclined see-saw with the first half on top and second half in the ground.
Verdict: Vithagan, the gun could have been sharper.