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Vaamanan is average

July 10, 2009 18:18 IST

Presumably, the title Vaamanan, referring to one of Lord Vishnu's avatars which has a small boy morphing into a gigantic figure has its implications, and Dream Valley Corporation's latest Tamil movie, directed by I Ahmed has all the technical details perfect: Arvind Krishna's cool camera-work, amazing special effects, a beautiful sand-painting by N Raja and Suraj Kavi's slick editing. It even has Subramaniapuram's Jai in the starring role, among others!

So it should be a dazzling festival of colour, action, plot and romance. It is, sometimes. You only wish it could have been that way for the whole movie.

The first shot of the movie itself sets the tone: a sparkling Pooja (Lakshmi Rai) slips out of the water a la Ursula Andress in a bikini, and the camera dwells lovingly on her for a good few minutes. The excuse is that she's a model, working in an ad film, and it seems to satisfy the front-benchers. Thankfully, thereafter it's back to the story proper, and a good beginning it is, too.
As the eager-beaver youngster Anand who wanders into Chennai for a blazing career in the movies, Jai fits the bill (Thankfully he's devoid of his previous movie's hair, make-up et al, and has taken great pains to change his attitude to suit the character of a rather gullible youngster who's inclined to see the better side of things.).

Then there's Chandru (Santhanam), a TV camera-man who lets Anand stay with him while he looks for opportunities. The two have a whale of a time, squabbling together like angry cats, yet affectionate, for all that. Anand meets Divya (Priya, who has very little to do) at the railway station, and its love at first sight (predictably).

Meantime, there's a parallel track: Pooja and her director Vinodh discover something ominous in their tapes: the secret to the murder of Chief Minister Viduthalai (Delhi Ganesh) committed in a rather simplistic fashion. But it's something different, you suppose. The Joint Commissioner Kailasam (Thalaivaasal Vijay) is involved, which complicates things.

In the meantime, Anand spends his time ogling at Divya, buttering up her mother (Urvasi, in a hilarious role, after quite a while) and going along with Chandru on his work  and meeting John (Rahman), who has a habit of breaking into random houses and getting a kick out of it.

The first half is fun, peppy and quite racy but comes the second half and the script stutters a bit, despite the dialogues of T Senthil and Subramanian. Anand is thrown into murder, mayhem and general messiness, while sweetheart Divya goes from one extreme of utterly disbelieving him, to suddenly doing an about-turn. Logic goes for a toss, and Anand seemingly turns into Superman which is when you begin to lose interest.

Edho Seigirai is melodious in Yuvan's music but he scores better with the background music than with the other songs  (people actually walk out when those come up).

Jai would have been even better were he not so self-conscious about his dancing. Why is there no sight of "Ultimate Star" Ajith, when the credits thank him? Vaamanan works a bit, if only for the comic parts, at the slight, genuine suspense elements in the beginning, and the screen-presence of Urvasi, Jai, Rahman and Santhanam.

If only they'd taken up where the script lets off at the intermission, and made it tauter, racier, and with at least a sprinkling of logic.

Rediff Rating:

Pavithra Srinivasan