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Movie Review: Vaitheeswaran (2008) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 70%%70%% 70% (6 votes)
Movie Still When Sarathkumar made Nam Naadu, the heavy dose of politics made it look like a platform for him to promote his party and project himself as a politician who could clean up our politics. Vaitheeswaran stays away from politics and self-promotion but surprisingly, is less entertaining than the previous film. Dabbling in revenge and re-incarnation, it is an illogical, silly film that makes the recent Sila Nerangalil, which tackled the same subject, seem like an airtight classic.

When a young boy Saravanan is killed by rowdy - and aspiring politician - Dhanasekaran(Shayaji Shinde), his distraught mother(Vinaya Prasad) is ready to kill herself. But she is stopped by a man Mani Shankar(Vijayakumar) who promises her that her son will be reincarnated and meet her 30 years hence. The only condition is that the mother must remain inside Vaitheeswaran temple, praying to be reunited with her son. 30 years later, her wait catches the attention of the public, who are curious to see if Saravanan shows up. Dr.Bala(Sarathkumar), who has no belief in reincarnation, wishes to treat her while Dhanasekharan, who is now a politician and eyeing the CM seat, knows that Saravanan's arrival could derail his plans. Armed with a computer-generated photo of how Saravanan would look like now, both Dhanasekharan and Bala go looking for him.

Whatever our expectations about a movie when we walk in, the opening scenes set the stage for how we look forward to the rest of the movie. So, when a party member kills the Chief Minister in his hospital room in broad daylight in front of the hospital's Dean, our expectations about Vaitheeswaran are appropriately tempered. So seeing unnecessary deaths, a distasteful, voyeuristic attempted rape and a psychiatrist fighting with goons don't rattle us too much since they are simply putting the pieces in place for the main story. Unfortunately, the main story isn't a big improvement.

The movie does have a couple of surprising twists in the middle but their effect is all but lost because of the confusing screenplay and lack of logic. Case in point is the whole affair with the reincarnated Saravanan's photo. Remember the computer in Dharmapuri which, given the photo of a boy, came up with a photo of him much older? The people here must've borrowed that computer and then upgraded it since this computer, given the photo of a boy, generates a photo of how his grown-up reincarnation would look! While the villains coming up with this photo is acceptable in view of later revelations, Meghna Naidu coming up with the same photo is impossible, technologically or story-wise. With Shayaji having two henchmen and keeping them in the dark about each other, things become real confusing as they go after Saravanan. This might be one film where things are actually muddled up more after all the explanations!

While the director has chosen the subject of reincarnation, it looks like he doesn't really have an opinion on the subject. So he uses Sarath, who argues against the belief, and Vijayakumar, who staunchly believes in it, to present two viewpoints without siding with one of them. This continues right upto the end, when the happenings seem to point decisively one way but the characters still stick to their own beliefs. Sarath's final line, about we seeing what we want to believe, rings true but coming at the end of a film like this, it just seems like the director's inability to reveal his side in a what is essentially matter of faith.

Sarathkumar is his usual self, pummeling goons and dispensing threats to Shayaji at regular intervals. Our heroes' actions remain the same whatever their profession and its the same here. Megna Naidu was obviously selected for the first number where she cavorts with Sarathkumar on the beach in swimsuits. She doesn't disappear completely since she plays the news anchor on a TV channel that is covering the proceedings but does nothing much of note. Shayaji plays the corrupt politician with a loudness that suits the film. Vijayakumar seems to have taken his role a lot more seriously than the movie deserves and so his dire predictions raise mostly laughs.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam