Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Veyilode Villayadi

Humiliation wrought on by severe chastisement of a youthful indiscretion can change the course of a life...forever.

This is the underlying motif of one of the better movies I saw over the past few weeks, a rather energetic and vibrant movie, Veyil. A touch overlong, a tad contrived and a plot that is predictable, maybe, but it doesn't detract from the fact that Veyil is highly absorbing and eminently watchable.

Aimed at capturing the ambience of a sun kissed southern village in Tamilnadu, the cinematography is wonderfully evocative. Meandering thru the fields and by lanes, the picturesque sequences that accompany the song 'veyilode villayadi' capture a certain joie de vivre of life when we were kids.

For having gone to watch a movie during school hours, Murugesan, is dragged, beaten, tied up naked and left in the sun for an entire day by his father. Unable to bear the humiliation he steals his mother’s jewelry and runs away from home. He grows up under the care of a theater caretaker and comes to love the magic of movies. Possibly the illusions created by larger than life movies help him forget his past, or at least keep the memories dormant. At one point in time he speaks of going back after he has made it in life. He also falls for a village girl and there are promises in the horizon. But life is not too kind on him and defeated by the vagaries of fate, after twenty years, he returns home. Kathir, his younger brother, who is now running a successful business and taking care of the household, is overjoyed at his return though his father is still angry. Though welcomed back into the family, Murugesan is low on confidence as everywhere around him life seems to have passed him by. His only solace is in the company of his childhood sweetheart, a single mother trying to eke out a living making matchsticks. They find in each other like souls and in the comfort of this knowledge they try to pick and build a life out of the dregs of failure.

Pasupathy, as Murugesan, puts in a remarkable performance. Though he is not at ease when asked to be romantic, he exudes a sense of vulnerability to his portrayal of a person searching for his lost childhood. This is compounded by the fact that he realises that he has failed in life.

All others essay their parts well and though there are missteps, there doesn’t seem to be an insincere performance in front of and behind the camera.

The movie is at its best when it deals with the relationships between Murugesan and others in his family...especially so is the relationship between with Murugesan and Kathir. The script is not taut enough and tends towards contrivances post interval, as it tries a little too much to pull at the heartstrings and there are a few extra songs than was necessary. With tighter editing and probably around 30 minutes less, Veyil could have been one of best this year, as it is it qualifies to be recommended.


Blogger Scorpio said...

Veyil is a good movie but the review here is better....
pasupathy has done a neat Job and The best part of the movie I thought was Bharat.
He really seems to be going places with his great "role picking ability".
He really has done lots of different roles in his short career.

May 11, 2007 7:33 AM  
Blogger ReadnRyte said...

I thought it could be a better movie if it tried to explore the angst of the central charcter a bit more. Bharat was good though I thought the part of the cinema that dealt with his relationship with the dubbing artist was a distraction. I would have liked it if that time was spent in studying the dynamics of his relationship with his elder brother.

May 11, 2007 8:30 AM  

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