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Ajith all the way in Varalaaru
Atishay Abbhi | October 23, 2006 16:54 IST
Varalaaru was titled Godfather. And so, first off, a clarification. The movie has nothing to do with the mafia. It is all about Ajith, Ajith and Ajith (literally), as the star plays four roles in three!
The film opens with Kanika (playing Ajith senior's wife) dancing for Shankar (Ajith, grey-haired, smoking a pipe) against the backdrop of Innisai. The theatre goes wild. His son, Vishnu (Ajith Number 2), is introduced with Illamai, a peppy number by Aslam. It is to create the idea that the son is a spoilt brat, and is conveyed well. The usual rhetoric of father telling son to behave responsibly and son replying in the rudest possible way goes on. The father asks Vishnu to visit a village called Thothapuram and take over a project. There, he meets leading lady Asin, who has come for a social work project. Asin picks up from her lively but mature performance in Ghajini.
Now comes the song Deepawali � a lively number that is well filmed at a beautiful location. Sonu Kakkar's strong and Kalpana's pleasant voices make it really enjoyable. Ajith and Asin also strike good on-screen chemistry, although Ajith struggles with the dancing at times.
Arguments between father and son provide instances where the dialogue writer makes his presence felt. Nice comic touches are added by Suman Shetty and Ramesh Khanna.
By this time, strange events start taking place. Ajith junior first attempts raping Asin's friend, thereby risking his marriage. He then attempts to even kill his father. Ajith Senior decides to take his son for a mental check-up, where he is given shock treatment for split-personality disorder. At the intermission, Ajith 3 has arrived.
Until this point, the film appears to be nicely packaged and paced.
Just when you expect the story to move ahead and reveal who the third Ajith is, an untimely song puts on the brakes. Beautiful art direction and music makes up for the broken link, but the story does not take off too well. You are now presented with song packages at too-short intervals.
The second half is mostly a display of director K S Ravikumar's obsession with flashbacks. Ajith 3 is a rowdy, who lives with his mother (Kanika) and is out to take revenge by killing Ajith Senior.
After his story, Ajith Senior has another flashback to offer -- by far the most interesting in the movie. It opens with Ajith's brilliant dance performance on Innisai. Ajith senior is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer who picks up feminine characteristics that eventually cost him his marriage with Kanika and, subsequently, his mother. Kanika goes on to ridicule his masculinity. Outraged, Ajith rapes her and Kanika becomes the mother of twin boys.
The plot is as clear as a mirror. From here begins the clich�d part of the movie, where everything starts looking predictable. They continue until the climax, with a couple of interesting revelations at the end as the only saving grace.
Use of the time-slice method by the director reminds you of Shankar's flicks, but this is visually good and not overdone.
Varalaaru is undoubtedly the only must-watch release this Diwali. Watch it for a display of all the elements of Ajith's versatility and range of emotions. His performance in the woman-like role will compel you to applaud his genius. Asin does a decent job, and A R Rahman's music compliments Ajith's performance. The background score by Rahman also gives you a kick, time and again.
Overall, a good offering from the director of Padayappa.
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