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Vegam, a pseudo thriller
Nandhu Sundaram | September 28, 2007 16:29 IST
Ashwin Shekher, son of actor S V Shekher makes his debut in Vegam, which is clearly inspired by 2004's Cellular, a B-movie starring Kim Bassinger and Chris Evans.
Sriman plays an ex-cop, who has kidnapped a wife of a police officer, played by Prabhu, in order to recover a tape that has incriminating evidence against him. Much of this plot is borrowed from Cellular. The film strays from the plot only to accommodate the romantic scenes, the songs and a few comedy sequences.
Ashwin plays the hero who follows the heroine Archana to Malaysia, where most of the movie is set. He receives a random call from the kidnapped woman and spends most of the movie trying to save her life. The movie is an exercise in how to make a broken telephone work and all the ingenious ways a person can receive a telephone call.
However, in Cellular we are willing to accept this plot gimmick and go along with the movie because the scenes are effectively scripted and enacted. In Vegam, the pace of the movie is inevitably hampered by the mandatory romantic and comedy sequences.
Rajesh Vaidya, the well known Carnatic singer, makes his debut as composer. He keeps the music in pace with the movie.
A thriller is not home turf for actor-turned-politician S Ve Shekher's son. Shekhar's strength was parody, especially in epics like Ramayana. On stage, the actor is still a big box office draw. Many of his one-liners are popular enough to be repeated by eight-year olds.
And yet, why he chooses a thriller, that too an easily discernible adaptation of a Hollywood movie, is inexplicable. Didn't the actor want his son to be like him? Perhaps he thought that giving Ashwin the image of an action star would secure his future. Whether this strategy works remains to be seen.
Given a foreign location like Malaysia, cinematographers in Tamil often reduce it into a series of postcards you might receive from a relative who just went there. K S Selvaraj, who shoots this movie, is no different. That these picture postcards have nothing to do with the movie is justified by saying that average moviegoer cannot afford a trip to the said foreign locale.
It's left to the considerable histrionic talents of Kushboo, who plays the incarcerated woman, to save the movie. Particularly in the second half, where her acting skills come as welcome relief from the poor comedy sequences.
Archana, the heroine, does in this movie what Kushboo used to do in the 90s -- providing the glamour quotient, which is considerably less than that of the older actress when she was in her prime.
One ferverently wished SVe Shekher had opted for a low-budgeted comedy instead of this pseudo-thriller to launch his son.
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