Viswasam is that kind of a movie which I feel Siva wrote overnight after seeing a bunch of 70’s and 80’s melodrama. He just took the melodrama from those and reassembled the stuff he has used previously and made a movie that just went on and on making me almost feel that the portions I saw, in the beginning, were from a totally different movie. With mediocre writing and clichéd making depending too much on Ajith’s on-screen grace, Viswasam has barely anything fresh to its credit.
Thooku Durai is a chief like figure in his village. The temple festival that happens once in every 10 years is about to begin and at that point everyone brings up the issue of the troubled family life of Durai and says they don’t want to celebrate the festival if his family issues with his wife aren’t fixed. Durai’s efforts to fix that issue and how it goes are what Viswasam all about.
The writing of Viswasam is so darn lame that the detour it takes from plot points almost makes everything till that point totally irrelevant. There is an intro scene where we are shown how powerful even his mere stare can be and after that there is no relevance to all those characters that was there in that scene. Then there is flashback sequence which shows the younger Thooku Durai and how he met his love Niranjana. Then the plot shifts to the present where the hero becomes a protector and at the end he is a preacher. I was wondering how a movie that started off as a film about a man conducting a temple’s festival ended up as a lecture on good parenting. This distraction from plot points and a making that competes with daily soaps in terms of handling melodrama makes Viswasam an underwhelming experience.
Ajith is easily the perfect choice to play a character like this. He plays the role of a school kid’s father and for this mass masala package that shuttles between gravity-defying action and cheesy cringe-worthy melodrama, only someone like him can make it less annoying because of the screen presence. Within the broad strokes of the mediocre screenplay, the character of Niranjana has significance and I could sense why Siva chose or Nayanthara agreed to do the role. But for her caliber, this was just another role that never really demanded much of an effort. Anikha makes her second appearance as Ajith’s daughter and I must say that there is warm chemistry between the two which makes even the cheesiest of inspirational scenes look okay on screen. There is a spree of comedians like Thambi Ramaiah, Robo Shankar, Vivek, and Kovai Sarala. Barring a couple of scenes, all these additions to the story were utter annoyances. Jagapathi Babu is wasted as the eccentric revenge-seeking father who could have been taught a lesson by just one tight slap.
There is a pattern Siva started off with Veeram of showing masculinity. He sort of restructured it in Vedhalam and overdone it in Vivegam. When it comes to Viswasam, he tries to play it safe by going to the Veeram safe zone of family sentiments and hero’s unending list of sacrifice. In the beginningthere is that scene where everyone is giving a speech about Durai’s hard life as his wife left him because of his insensitive parenting. The scene was extremely cringe-worthy and I thought CS Amudhan would be laughing seeing the scene as it may give him content for Tamizh Padam 3. 100 meters race we see at the end is the longest 100 meters in the world as it gave the kid time to slow down, contemplate about life and then speed up. And the so-called mass scenes appear as if Siva suddenly remembered the movie is slated for Pongal. The music is mostly on the louder side and the only thing I really loved in this film was the song Kannaana Kanney sung soulfully by Sid Sriram.
The getup of Thambi Ramaiah and Robo Shankar has a level of tackiness in terms of makeup when Ajith is in this fully salt look in the movie. For me, the screenplay of Viswasam was as tacky as that getup which competed with the makeup of a preschool drama. It may feel like a better one when compared to Vivegam. But it is still far away from being a good script with sensible characters.
Viswasam may feel like a better one when compared to Vivegam. But it is still far away from being a good script with sensible characters
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended