There was a time when the fan service in Vijay films was minimal and subtle which looked pretty convincing considering the syntax of a festival entertainer. Varisu from Vamshi Paidipally is a movie that has too much burden on its shoulders to create an image for its lead actor. I must say that the decision to cut an underwhelming trailer that tells the audience that it is the same old joint family story was a good one. Because anyone who has seen the trailer might end up with a response, “it wasn’t that bad.”
As you saw in the trailer, Rajendran is a business tycoon who dominates the mining business and is proud of his two sons, Jai and Ajai, who are handling his business. There was a fallout between Rajendran and his youngest son Vijay as they had different ideologies. The return of Vijay to his house after 7 years and how he manages a challenging situation for the family is what we witness in Varisu.
Superstar filmography is also something that stars design carefully to maintain their popularity. Off late, the Vijay films haven’t been that B and C center-pleasing ones. Varisu is unabashedly trying to pander to that audience. If you know someone who is addicted to daily soaps with troubled family equations, I am sure they will say Varisu is definitely a watchable film.
The image-boosting necessity is the main villain here as it drains out even the scope to be a guilty pleasure action film by throwing in too much sentiment and advice. Vijay is saving his brothers from bad business deals, advising his sister-in-law in divorce matters (problematic), saving his brother’s daughter from human traffickers, and in the end, he is even advising the villain to live a good life. Thankfully the villain, played by Prakash Raj, isn’t apologizing to him. Almost everyone, including Vijay’s father, apologizes to him in the film’s last quarter.
Like any other festival entertainer, the acting part is more about delivering the swagger for the hardcore fans, and to an extent, Vijay has shown that in the film. But there are portions in the movie where he has to make sentimental scenes look comical in order to reduce the cringe element, but his humor rendering was kind of cringe-worthy. In terms of screen-time, I think it was Shaam and Srikanth who had more space in the film and delivered performances that suited a loud screenplay like this. Sarathkumar, as Rajendran, was convincing, and Jayasudha, as the supportive mother, had the charm to make those mother-son sequences look nice on screen. Prakash Raj plays a pointless villain who never gets any of his moves right. As expected, Rashmika Mandanna has zero significance in the story, and it was mostly about being that cute face.
Vamshi’s movies are known for their large-scale setting and the element of visual lushness. That is there throughout Varisu. The writing that thinks it is catering to the fans with a perfect amount of references about the star and his filmography is actually the villain here. There is a board meeting sequence in the movie featuring VTV Ganesh, and one can clearly see a filmmaker underestimating fans’ demands. I literally facepalmed when Vaathi coming got played in that scene. I was watching the movie at 4 am with the hardcore Thalapathy fans. When the doctor told Vijay’s father that he had cancer, even the fans of the actor laughed at its predictable and outdated nature. The songs aren’t that catchy, and most of them stood out like a sore thumb. The high frame-rate action sequences also lacked the grace one would expect in a Vijay film.
In one of the very first sequences in Varisu, Vijay, who plays Vijay, is asked by the press about his troubled equation with his father (you know where I am going with this.) And the actor/character gives a fitting reply to almost everyone regarding that issue. This blurred differentiation between the actor and the character, which makes the movie look like a tool for the hero to convey his ideology and politics, reduces the movie’s entertainment value. Vijay has tried to pitch his politics in every movie through a scene or speech. But, here he is trying to be the savior of everyone, which frankly looks tiring for a post-covid audience who had accepted a well-made fan service movie like Vikram.
Varisu from Vamshi Paidipally is a movie that has too much burden on its shoulders to create an image for its lead actor.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended