In the race, surely - Varalaaru
Genre: Family drama
Director: K. S. Ravikumar
Cast: Ajit, Asin, Kanika
Storyline: An aging man is unable to overcome the reckless act in his youth, but nemesis is close by.
Bottomline: Scoring in pace and performance!
When the foundation is firm the edifice is bound to be solid. So it is with NIC Arts' `Varalaaru'(U/A), which was named `Godfather' initially. Ravi Chakravarthi's strong line has been intelligently enhanced by director K. S. Ravikumar's crisp narration. The film takes off in style and races to the midway point in a jiffy. At no point does `Varalaaru' sag. If it was a dual role that Ravikumar conceived for Ajit in `Villain,' it is three parts that he's made him play in `Varalaaru.' Ajit portrays the roles of father and two sons. And easily the father scores! The body language of a person with effeminate mannerisms has been beautifully showcased by Ajit.
Different in story (though not entirely plausible) and characterisation, the film is supported by a cornucopia of ingredients needed to make it gripping. As it deals with the story of a father and two sons all of whom look identical, it reminds you of similar roles that Sivaji Ganesan donned in `Deiva Magan,' but the comparison ends there. Vishnu (Ajit) is the apple of his millionaire dad Sivan's (Ajit) eye. The equally loving son is distraught when he seems to be doing the most atrocious things, which he is unable to explain or comprehend. That's when Jeeva (Ajit) enters the scene and from then on it's action unplugged.
Ajit's skills as a performer have been appreciably honed and efficiently used in `Varalaaru.' A milestone in Ajit's cinema efforts, the film has the potential to propel its hero into a higher league in stardom. Asin looks lustrous and sails through her role smoothly, while Kanika gets more scope, which she makes good use of. You see Pandu in a sober, sensible role he emerges reasonably eloquent without any of his usual facial twitches.
Sound technical backing
With five cinematographers sharing the honours, it is an achievement that there are no visible jerks in lighting and colour tones. The camera, costume, colour scheme and Thotta Tharani's backdrop are particularly commendable in the `Kaatril' song sequence. A. R. Rahman's music is another accentuating aspect here. `Theeyil Vizhundha' is a thought-provoking, melodious piece. The dance beats in the background in old Ajit's fight sequences are captivating.
That neither the doctors nor the mother were unaware of her carrying twins in her womb is a rather difficult theory to buy.
And you wonder about the effectiveness of showing the details of Jeeva's vindictive operations only at the end, when the titles roll. Also why did not Sivan make much effort to trace his wife earlier?
Having had to brave several speed breakers, `Varalaaru' has taken time to come out, but now that it has, there should be no stopping it's well-deserved success run ... or its hero's for that matter.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu