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Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Review – STR acting saves the film

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is a film written by B Jeyamohan, directed by Gautham Vasudev Menon, and produced by Ishari K Ganesh under the banner Vels Film International. It stars Atman Silambarasan and Siddhi Idnani in the lead roles while Radhika Sarathkumar, Siddique, Neeraj Madhav, and others play supporting roles. The music is composed by AR Rahman and the cinematography is done by Siddhartha Nuni.

Muthuveeran (Simbu) is a teenager who has passed his public exams. Circumstances force him to work in a thorny forest, and due to an accident, the forest catches fire resulting in the owner of the land and Muthu getting into a tiff. Muthu’s mother asks him to leave for Bombay where he starts working in a parotta shop. Soon he comes into contact with the underworld of Mumbai which changes his life forever. The film deals with this journey as its main plot.

Critic’s Rating: 3.5/5

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is an extension of one of the writer Jeyamohan’s short stories, and the initial portions of VTK feel exactly like that. Be it the conversations between characters, the slang, or the geography, everything looks authentic and adds something to the story. As the film moves to Bombay, it slowly starts to become a little artificial. It concentrates on Muthu becoming a formidable gangster but we’re not shown why he is formidable.

Overall, Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu is a technically well-made film that shows us another dimension of Simbu the actor, and AR Rahman the composer. Simbu is as invisible in VTK as Gautham Menon. This is a welcome departure for the filmmaker who has often come under fire for making the same films again. Gautham too has tried doing something different this time — really! There are a few long shots that simply didn’t work for me. But my favorite shot is when Muthu goes to a textile shop where he meets Pallavi (Siddhi Idnani, in a badly-acted and bad-written romance) for the first time.

We see them having a chat until cinematographer Siddhartha Nuni turns the camera away — it’s a reflection in a mirror. Gautham does this again in a later scene for the opposite effect, as if to shut Muthu’s advances.

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