Since the title is very much self-explanatory, 'Vanmham' is basically a story of revenge and vengeance. That is not something very novel or daringly new in Tamizh cinema, but presentation and narration can make a big difference to a mundane subject. Being a double hero subject, can Jai Krishnaa, an old timer of Tamizh cinema and an former assistant to 'Ulaga Nayagan' Kamal Haasan, come clean with his debut film ?

Doing rural subjects is not something new to Vijay Sethupathi but we get to see him perform out and out action sequences, and sporting the white dhothi for throughout the film. He is very natural and mouths the Nagercoil accent very well. The performer in him sneak peeks in a scene or two but otherwise, its just an average outing for him. Kreshna is sincere and has come up with an earnest performance. His voice modulation is better and he has shown some improvement in his acting capability. Sunaina, looks pretty and that's about it with her role. Madhu Sudhan Rao, Anjali Rao, Bose Venkat, Muthuraman, Sriranjani, Radhamani Ammal, Vinodhini, Subburaj and etc completes the rest of the cast. Sadly, no one stood out for their performances, due to poor characterization and detailing.

'Supreme' Sundar's action choreography works for most of the time. Its not raw, quite filmy but somehow it works out. There's nearly equal amount of action footing for both lead heroes but Vijay Sethupathi gets the more intense ones. Shiva Yadav takes care of the art direction and his work fits the bill. The detailing for the inner section of the rural homes were well propped. The market scene stands out, if its pertaining to his work. Veteran Suresh Urs' editing was functional but he could have definitely chopped down plenty of scenes to spice things up, or to at least speed up the proceedings. The film takes it's own sweet time in unravelling and the unnecessary melodramatic moments are just mere speed-bumpers ! Bala Bharani's cinematography is passable and he has captured the beauty of the southern areas of Tamil Nadu, particularly Nagercoil and Kanyakumari very well. The quarry area, surrounded by deep waters, were well captured, especially during the intense fight scene, just before the interval. 

S.S Thaman's musical score is frankly, below average. "Paadatta Paadatta" is the obligatory introductory song for both, Vijay Sethupathi and Kreshna. The typical song-and-dance routine number featured both heroes, with the backing of group dancers, shaking their legs, in and around picturesque areas of Nagercoil. "Aetti Enge Pore" is a duet song, picturized on Kreshna and Sunaina. Some of the beautiful spots of Nagercoil was shot by Bala Bharani, especially of the small water dam and river areas. Kreshna and Sunaina shares good chemistry but the substance was missing from this combination, due to poor writing. "Maname Maname" is a pathos song, and has montage shots of all the main lead characters of Vijay Sethupathi, Kreshna and Sunaina and nearly all the other character artistes. S.S Thaman's background score is passable.

Being an associate of 'Ulaga Nayagan' Kamal Haasan, Jai Krishnaa should have realized the responsibility lying on his shoulders. Being an old-timer of the industry, his knowledge of presentation and contemporary film-making is, sorry to say, grossly missing ! The film has such an outdated theme of revenge but what's inexcusable is the bland, insipid and boring narration and dialogue writing of the film. The film's presentation is very archaic and is full of melodramatic moments, which would have worked out in the 80's and early 90's ! There's plenty of unnecessary action sequences thrown into the linear screenplay. There are plenty of loopholes and unanswered questions in the film's screenplay. Apart from the Nagercoil/Kanyakumari setting and the native accent used in the film, nothing else captures our attention. A certain sequence of the film is directly lifted from the 1998 Malayalam film, 'Kanmadam' starring Mohanlal and directed by A.K Lohithadas. The film is shockingly dreary and flavorless and sadly another liability to the film-based business people.

'Vanmham' - Vijay Sethupathi, you are suppose to be the poster-boy of new-age Tamizh cinema !

Ratings: 2/5 STARS


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