After Kunguma Pottu Goundar, Satyaraj once again acts in a movie
where the character carries the name of one his more famous roles in the past. This time he's called
Vetrivel and the connection is even more obvious since the earlier film, Walter Vetrivel was named
after the character too. I guess those associated with the film think that by doing this, the familiarity
of the name will bring in atleast some viewers. But when the film is something like Vetrivel Sakthivel,
all it does is remind us of the good movies Satyaraj has done in the past and the precipitous fall in
quality his movies have had!
Sakthivel(Sibi) has recently passed the IPS exam but his strict father Vetrivel(Satyaraj) sends
him to work in their clothing store. Sakthivel falls for Manju(Nikita) but when the alliance is
about to be finalized, her past comes in the way. Meanwhile, the police is chasing a gang of
terrorists that was last seen in their vicinity and Vetrivel might be unknowingly helping the gang.
Vetrivel Sakthivel is pretty obvious as another attempt by Satyaraj(after
Jore) to help the non-starting career of his son Sibi. I guess his thought
is that having his name too, instead of just his son's, will get some of his own fans into the theaters and
these fans will then leave the theater as fans of Sibi. But this film offers even less than Jore,
which atleast capitalized on the father-son chemistry between Satyaraj and Sibi. Satyaraj is little more than
a supporting actor here, with none of the trademarks that his fans look for. So it is likely to alienate even
existing fans of the actor rather than gain new fans for his son.
The film offers an example of how not to treat twists in a story. The movie has a couple of rather weak
twists. But the way it leads upto them makes them completely predictable. Heroine Nikita appears out of
nowhere, is never given a past or background and is shown as seeking out Sibi in order to fall in love.
Does anyone who has watched even a few Tamil films need any more clues to guess what her plan is? The
same goes for the identity of the bad guys. The choice of actors and the way they are initially shown
leaves no doubts as to their true nature and the plot point that is coming.
The director shows some ability to handle family stories as Nikita's plan after her marriage is off
leads to some interesting situations. There are a few nice segments as she, with more than a little
help, irritates Satyaraj in his own house. But the director is unable to come up with enough such
situations and so each sequence drags on until the little humor in it is completely squeezed out. The
sequence where the family members have their dinner in secret after initially foregoing it is one such
instance. The director has no idea when to stop.
But the director is completely out of his depth in handling the terrorism angle. The whole track is
handled very ineptly and amateurishly and the MOs of both the terrorists and the police are laughably
stupid. And worse, it leads to some unnecessary sentiments at the end.
Sibi hasn't made much improvement since his debut. Nakkal is the only thing he does well and
he obviously gets that from his father. He is pretty stone-faced otherwise though he does fight and
dance OK. Satyaraj has only Vadivelu to aim his usually sarcasm and they end up being pretty weak.
He does get to imitate MGR in a song sequence that features a remix of an old MGR number. Nikita
is unexceptional and all signs point to this being her first and last film while Kushboo proves that
she still retains her sweetness in looks, dialog delivery and acting. Vadivelu's comedy is pretty
weak but the last scene gives him a chance to prove that he hasn't forgotten how to act in a