Pooja Umashankar, the beautiful and talented Sri Lankan makes a comeback to Tamizh cinema, after a 4-year hiatus, with her last release being the critically-acclaimed Bala film, 'Naan Kadavul'. She teams up with debutante Balaji K.Kumar, an University of California graduate and a story board artist, who has worked for internationally reputed advertising firms such as Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Saatchi & Saatchi. The trailers and teaser promised us a dark and emotional thriller, so did the final product live up to the expectations ?

Pooja makes a strong comeback, with a refined performance as Rekha, the desperate-for-cash prostitute. Her body language and dialogue delivery is spot-on, and she brought out the character very well. Her nervous expressions and trembling voice, gave plenty of realistic touches to her performance. But the real scene-stealer, is the young child prodigy Malavika Manikuttan. She is simply superb with her nuanced expressions and perfect timing in her dialogue delivery. She is a revelation and possess a maturity, beyond her adolescent age. Surely, a great find for Tamizh cinema ! Vinoth Kishan uses his eyes very well to bring out the silent, creepy mannerisms of his character. John Vijay, as the scheming villain, makes use of his opportunity fantastically, with great voice modulation. Lakshmy Ramakrishnan and Amarendran Ramanan, were very natural and realistic with their character portrayals. 

Jayalakshmi Sundaresan, handles the costume designing very well, and she certainly brought out the apt look for Pooja and Amarendran. 'Thalapathy' Dinesh's action choreography was neatly executed, which had some deadly blows dished out by some of the characters, especially by Vinoth in the climax. Very realistic yet powerful ! Sathyaraj Natarajan, kept the duration of the film as crisp as possible, but the second half drags a little, which could have been avoided. Some post production works are a little tacky, especially the night shots of vehicles, but it could be due to the small-scale budget of the film. Edward Kalaimani, has done a really good job in the production design, especially with the set-work of John Vijay's garage-like set. The detailing was minute and complicated ! Also, the interiors of the various homes featured in the film, was very neatly propped up. Sivakumar Vijayan's cinematography was good, especially with the experimentation of the color tone, which ranges of sepia, dusty brown, and dark blue effects, which complements the mood of the sequences. Also, the night and rain shots, were well captured. 

Girishh Gopalakrishnan of 'Marina' fame handles the music department. "Theeradha Mounam" is the opening song of Pooja and had some good slow-motion camera techniques, complemented by rain shots. "Penne" is a situational song, appearing in bits, in the late second half. And "Vidiyaatha Iravu" is the climax song, which fit very well for the situation and ups the mood of the climax portions. Girishh's background score elevates the thrill factor and suspense-building elements of the script, and tracks such as "Rage" and "Redemption" were very well scored, and used in the film. 

What attracts us to the film, is the slow yet suspenseful screenplay, narrated by Balaji K.Kumar. He keeps us guessing on the next proceedings, with some intelligently handled sequences, those of John Vijay's, especially. What Balaji K.Kumar really deserves appreciation for, is his focus on the script and narration and the tight handling of the screenplay. There are no excessive and unwanted scenes thrust into the screenplay, which does a lot of good for the film. The subject of the script, was handled very well and pertained to an important and critical social issue, plaguing the world. Balaji's plot was well structured and he manages to give importance to his characters, which ensued a marked impression on the audience. The climax, is the real clincher for the film, and was very intelligently handled and executed. The biggest drawback of the film ? Nothing film wise, but its the fact that the story is not original. 'Vidiyum Munn' is an "inspiration/adaptation/remake/copy" or whatever you want to call it as, of the critically-acclaimed 2006 British film, 'London to Brighton' directed by Paul Andrew Williams. Well, nearly everything was lifted from this film, be it the idea, screenplay, characterizations, plot setting, sequence execution, the surprise ending and etc. Balaji K.Kumar has tweaked the story and some characterizations a little, in order to adapt to the Tamizh sensibilities and commercial factor. But apart from that, many scenes are a just direct copy from the original, including from dialogues to shot composition ! 

'Vidiyum Munn' - It can be more pleasant, if Balaji K.Kumar gives the original film and its makers, the real credits. 

Ratings: 3/5 STARS


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