Dec 12 2017

Ippadai Vellum

Published by at 10:10 pm under Review,Tamil Cinema


After the failed attempts to become an action hero, Udhayanidhi Stalin seems to be gravitating towards roles where he plays a common man caught up in situations beyond his control. In that sense, the hero’s role in Ippadai Vellum is a perfect fit for him. Unfortunately what could have been an interesting thriller is derailed by the director’s attempts to inject comedy into the proceedings.

Its nice to see a Tamil cinema hero who is not completely in control of everything around him. Madhusoodhanan(Udhayanidhi Stalin) lost his job as a software engineer recently but hasn’t informed his mother(Radhika, playing the first woman bus driver) and so has racked up a big debt as he borrowed money to make payments on the house he bought. Madhu is shown to be the brainy type – we get visual clues as he thinks up ideas while on the run to obstruct his chasers –  and the film remains faithful to this till the end. He uses his brain a few times and even a fight sequence ends up becoming a scuffle where he takes help and then subdues rather than beats up, the bad guy.

Manjima Mohan plays his lover Bhargavi(their names – he is Madhu and he calls her Bar-u – lead to a joke but there is nothing intoxicating about the romance itself) , who wants to get married at the earliest at the register office since her  brother(R.K.Suresh) is opposed to the romance. When on his way to the wedding, Madhu runs into a dreaded terrorist Chotta(Daniel Balaji), who after a prison escape in UP, is on his way to Chennai to engineer some bomb blasts. Something similar happens to Kulandhaivelu(Soori), a mimicry artist, who is traveling to be with his pregnant wife and has a run-in with Chotta. This eventually leads to Madhu and Kulandhaivelu being suspected of being Chotta’s gang members.

The film relies on coincidences every step of the way to move the story forward. These plot points are acceptable initially as characters are introduced and the connections between them are established. But past a certain point, as the coincidences begin to pile up, it starts to feel like lazy writing as they are used to push the story along, tie up loose ends, etc. A couple of them(like the place where Madhu and Chotta are holed up) are good surprises but many of them(like an accident that involves 3 key players) feel too convenient.

Some humor is acceptable and sometimes even welcome in a thriller as it helps ease the tension. But when humor becomes the main goal, tension becomes non-existent. That’s the case here. The issues themselves are serious with elements like a dangerous terrorist, an imminent bomb blast and two wrongly accused innocent men. But the film’s tone doesn’t allow us to take anything seriously. Fart and urine jokes transform otherwise serious scenes like interrogations and chases into farcical sequences and most scenes are treated purely for comedy.

The film has some interesting segues between scenes and this, along with some quick editing, leads to some semblance of suspense in the closing portions(the trick Madhu uses to pinpoint Chotta’s location is nice, especially since it is hinted at by Bhargavi’s offhand comment earlier). Some thought has also gone into the technology aspects as shown in the way Chotta and his gang use email to communicate. Unfortunately this is offset by the ridiculous scene where Madhu and the cops find the password for the account.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Ippadai Vellum”

  1. Prakash Rao says:

    No comments. But that’s fair. That’s all boring Udhayanidhi movies deserve :)

    But excited that Dheeran is releasing in TK tomorrow. Yay!!

  2. karthik says:

    I can’t say i hated this movie or it was very boring. If you don’t have anything else to watch, you can sit through this movie for the most part !

    Btw, just started watching ‘Punisher’ on Netflix and on episode 6. So far very entertaining (+violent !). check it out.