Santhanam tries his luck as a solo hero in Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham, the Tamil remake of Maryada Ramanna. He has made all efforts to look the part as he has lost weight and also worked on his dressing, styling and dance moves. The effort shows on screen. His excellent comedic timing is also intact as he goes about pulling the legs and deriding all characters around him in his inimitable style.
According to the story, Sakthi (Santhanam) has to go back to his ancestral village to sell his father’s property so that he can ease his financial burden. But there are relatives in the village who are baying for his blood since his birth. Inside their home, they treat even their enemies like God but outside, they are ruthless when it comes to revenge and enmity. The efforts that Sakthi makes to stay alive and what unfolds when he finally faces these people in the outside world are the crux of VPA.
Santhanam has the baby-dollish Ashna Zaveri for company and the young lass looks really cute. She ought to get a few offers with the younger heroes. But her acting chops are pretty average.
There are a plethora of other support characters that are all there for comedy, sentiment and of course villainy. Nagineedu and Ravi Prakash are menacing and spew villainy with their majestic demeanour. Powerstar also has a little cameo, made memorable by a single line of dialogue. ‘Solar Star’ Rajakumaran fills the void created by Powerstar (from Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiyaa) and provides a few laughs along with his funny sidekicks.
The first half is the film’s strong point as it is a breeze with the endearing train journey segments, Santhanam’s rocking intro number (obviously inspired by Tattad Tattad) and of course the healthy comedy strewn all over. Some of Santhanam’s retorts, one-liners and comments are truly hilarious and funny. His ‘talking cycle’ is another notable aspect of the film and it’s a tribute to TR’s brand of wordplay.
The second half nosedives with needless songs, absurd fight scenes, a long drawn-out melodramatic climax and of course the clichéd ending when the bad guys suddenly transform.
The film also has some substandard VFX work which is all too obvious during the climax stunt scenes and the train segments.
Siddharth Vipin has provided a few hum-worthy numbers but no chartbuster stuff here, except the intro number.
On the whole, watch it for Santhanam as he makes his debut as a solo hero with distinction. The film may appeal to the family audiences more as Santhanam loses his grip on the youth in the second half when the film drags big time.view less