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Movie Review: Devan (2002) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 76%%76%% 76% (14 votes)
Movie Still Though never a first or even second rung hero, Arun Pandiyan has been been around for quite a long time in Tamil cinema. For his hundredth movie Devan, he opts to go behind the camera too, turning director for the first time. So far, he has predominantly been an action star with thrillers like Inaindha Kaigal on his resume and so predictably, he chooses an action-based theme for his directorial debut. But though the movie starts off impressively, it eventually turns into a cliche-ridden outing filled with sentiments, revenge and action.

When the movie opens we see Devan(Arun Pandiyan) murdering photographer Jeeva('Thalaivasal' Vijay) in cold blood in his house. Jeeva strategically positions a video camera to capture the impending murder but Devan never shows his face to it. And when Jeeva shouts out the name of his killer before dying, the audio is lost at that point. While the police search for the killer, Devan zeroes in on Chetta(Saikumar) as his next target. He follows Chetta to Chandigarh but is apprehended by CBI officer Ratnavel(Vijayakanth). But once Ratnavel realises Chetta's true nature, he begins to help Devan, even hiring successful lawyer Chakravarthy(Karthik) to fight for him.

The movie begins like a true thriller and 'Thalaivasal' Vijay's murder is picturised in a thrilling fashion. The music, the photography and the black cat heighten the atmosphere and the failure of Vijay's attempts to identify the killer inspite of his clever ideas lead to some suspense about the subsequent proceedings. There is also suspense about Arun Pandiyan's reasons for his actions, though we know that a flashback is coming.

Unfortunately, the movie does not live upto its impressive beginning. Starting with Vijayakanth's belated appearance, the movie turns into a routine 'masala' movie. The flashback offers a standard story of Arun Pandiyan's life being destroyed by Saikumar and Jeeva. The proceedings also become more cinematic with the police department's way of discovering what 'Thalaivasal' Vijay said before he was killed and Karthik's way of refuting it being unbelievable. The pressures of giving in to Vijayakanth's image also shows in the stunt sequences and gun fights. But Arun Pandiyan can be commended for not giving Vijayakanth a heroine or duets.

Vijayakanth repeats his usual cop role while a hyperactive Karthik is not really suitable for the lawyer's role. But their presence indicates that Arun Pandiyan has maintained his friendships since both Vijayakanth and Karthik appeared in Oomai Vizhigal, Arun Pandiyan's debut. As an actor, he doesn't have much to do. Meena is the obligatory romantic interest for Arun while Kausalya is his sister. Ilaiyaraja's background music works well, especially during the opening scene.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam