Vada Chennai Review & Rating|
Vada Chennai Review: Story of the Forgotten Lives The Newspapers Don't Show
The man Dhanush
When Dhanush stands up for the people and gets ready to fight the two dreaded men, Vada Chennai gives whistle worthy moments for the fans of the star. But it is not just the fans that do it, the whole theatre of the audience who are experiencing goosebumps. Such is the power of the imagery Vetrimaran has come up with in this flawed gangster epic.
Vada Chennai is the story of a young carrom board player in the eponymous North Chennai becomes a reluctant participant in a war between two powerful gangsters. The story of the film starts when Chennai was still Madras. The opening has four people Guna, Senthil, Velu, and Pazhani killing an unseen victim. Violence is not shown. Only a blood dripping sickle. They talk about who is going to succeed the man they have just killed with hints thrown as to why they have killed him.
These men are gangsters and as is obvious for the audience but what surprises the audience is the effortlessness of the way they have fitted the shoes of the roles. Samuthirakani is Guna who raises to become the chief of a faction himself with Velu (Pavan) on his side. It is the young man Anbu's fight with Guna's men lands him in the jail. He had unwitting killed one of Guna's men. As he is not safe with Guna'smen in any place, let alone the prison, he takes shelter with Senthil (played by Kishore) and his men. Pazhani stood by Senthil.
But why has the carrom board player had to kill Guna's men? But where has that rivalry between Guna and Senthil's rivalry originated? It goes back to the times when they were loyal brothers to Ameer. A local fishermen leader and a big name among the people of the area. However, the greed for power and the machinations of the politicians give away their bond.
The circle of being
Soon it is about who kills whom first. Ameer is done away with as shown in the opening scene. Vada Chennai’s base storyline is what Tamil Nadu and the entire country (the whole world for that matter) is still debating on. Displacement of the local communities to a different region in the name of development. How housing board communities like Kannagi Nagar and Semmenchery gave away for multinationals. It is the so-called development (which is essential, all right) Vs people’s right to live.
The four men aim to win the contracts from the MNCs. Automatically, factions form based on personal loyalties. Dhanush is Anbu, a budding carrom champion, who wants to make it big. His love for Padma (the earthy Aishwarya Rajesh) puts him in a spot of bother. He thinks and tries to bring him out of the situation, but unfortunately, becomes the focal point of it. He arises to the situation in the end and has to forego his loyalty to Senthil who started trusting him.
How he does it and what he will do form the base of the film. Vetrimaran's narrative is sprawling and it is the detailing stands out. What makes Vada Chennai the epic it is is the organic manner in which he injected the real-life happenings of the times and the way he tells the stories of the common men whom who just come across in few news items like two gangsters fought and killed each other kind of stuff in the internal/local pages of the newspapers. But behind all this is the lives of people like us, albeit in another place, time, and situation. Vada Chennai!
Vada Chennai - The epic
The nature of the narrative and the various events that impact the lives of the scores of characters in Vada Chennai make it truly a masterpiece. Santhosh Narayanan understands this and comes up with a score that is as good as one of the characters in the film. Vetri Maaran’s rich detailing, be it the life in the prison or outside of it (a majority of the film happens in the prison), helps us become a part of the story. Anbu is the protagonist, and gets the meatiest scenes. And Dhanush, in a role he cherishes the most gets some whistle-worthy masala moments. Vetri Maaran fitted them organically and in character rather than empty heroism. The director ensures that the other characters have their moments. And everyone does their best.
Andrea’s character is best to watch and find out as it appears certain that she has a powerful background holding the key to the next parts. Velraj has managed to capture the essence of North Madras with its true soul, with more than two-thirds of the film is shot at night. The camera work is outstanding is an understatement. The art department has done a stupendous job in recreating the world of the story.
But for all its virtues, there are few critical flaws. The narration lags at times and makes us feel the two-hour film a three-hour-long one. Certain character's motivations are hidden. But the ending makes us want more and we couldn't wait for the sequels to come out. The production values and the direction are world class, to say the least.
All in all, Vada Chennai is a film to cherish for its mastery in storytelling. Vetrimaran deserves a pat on his back for coming up with such a grand vision and Dhanush must be appreciated to stand by the dream. Go and watch it. As simple as that. Tamil Cinema is at it best with the releases in the last few weeks, and Vada Chennai carries this forward this weekend.
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Must watch movie from the India's real best director.
Vada Chennai has been talked about for the last few weeks as the release of the first film of the expected trilogy. The Dhanush starrer hits the screens today and with the previews and the early morning shows coming to an end, the talk for the film is overwhelmingly positive. Vetrimaran is said to have created an original gangster epic. Dhanush's performance as Anbu is greatly appreciated. The praise goes to Andrea Jeremiah and Ameer Sultan too for playing their parts with perfection. As expected Vada Chennai is a layered gangster epic which delights the fans of cinema in general.
Highly acclaimed filmmaker Vetrimaran has created a film to remember in a long time to come. Vada Chennai is a well made gritty underworld gangster drama told in cold-blooded manner by Vetrimaran against the backdrop of major political upheavals in TN from late 1980's to early 2000. Among the team of actors, Dhanush and Ameer Sultan steal the show. The movie veraciously portrayed North Madras even in the effortless swearing. Dhanush maintained the intense mood flawlessly in every frame with the vehement performance. He is at his best when he started to fight back.
Film buffs loved the way the events of the day are integrated into the narration. Vada Chennai is an engrossing film which deserves multiple viewings. Vetrimaran made a film to cherish. Dhanush is a class act and Santhosh Narayanan's music deserves a huge applause. All in all, Vada Chennai is one of the best of Tamil Cinema.
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What is Vada Chennai about?
Life! Vada Chennai is about the life and times of a man named Anbu played by Dhanush. It tells his story from the childhood to the youth through to his 30s. As the title itself says, it happens in the Northern Chennai region. The fight for the survival of the people of that area. It also concerns gangsters, crimes, love, friendship, and betrayal.
Dhanush himself produced the epic saga directed by the highly acclaimed filmmaker Vetrimaaran on Wunderbar Films. Vetrimaaran gathered some of the brightest talents for this film with Santhosh Narayanan composing the musical score and while Veraj handling the cinematography. The acting talent is no less.
What to expect from vada Chennai?
Vetrimaaran's master class
Vetrimaaran is one of the most highly acclaimed filmmakers from Tamil Cinema. He is a known master of the craft and has delivered some of the greatest films in recent memory. Vada Chennai is the dream project of this National Award-winning director of Aadukalam. He has a great working relationship with the lead actor and co-producer Dhanush having produced Kodi apart from directing Aadukalam.
He is known for intense storytelling, brilliant screenplay with grassroots narration and highlighting the local atmosphere with his philosophy being the more local your story is the more international the film becomes. With a perfect team and an equally committed Dhanush at his disposal, Ventrimaran is sure to make Vada Chennai a great cinematic achievement. Also, there are plans to make this a trilogy. So, he should have invested heavily in making this a stepping stone for that target.
Dhanush in full flow
Dhanush is one actor who has acted in every possible genre. Such is his talent that he is known nationwide by acting in lead roles in Bollywood films even to the extent of sharing the title role with Amitabh Bachchan. With a director like Vetrimaran helming the project, we can see Dhanush in full flow in Vada Chennai. He has played a character that has several shades, and his youth appearance in the film is going to be a major highlight of the film.
Great acting talents
Vada Chennai has critically acclaimed actress Aishwarya Rajesh playing the female lead of Padma. Andrea Jeremiah plays another female lead namely Chandra which is going to be a bit different from what we have seen her lately. The ever-dependable Samuthirakani plays another important role in the film. Apart from these, Daniel Balaji, Kishore, Karunas, Radha Ravi etc. play supporting roles in the Vada Chennai.
Cinematography and Music
The cinematography by Velraj is atmospheric from what we have seen from the teasers. He is one of the noted cinematographers in South Indian Cinema. He himself being a director, he sure knows how to realize the vision of a fellow filmmaker like Vetrimaran. Santhosh Narayanan's music plays a vital role in the film and is expected to go hand in hand with the narrative flow of the film. The audio is already a big hit and the background score is great from what is evidenced by the teasers and promos.
Watch this space for Vada Chennai review, rating, and complete analysis. Be right back!