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Adventures of a Tamil James Bond

Pavithra Srinivasan | January 12, 2009 17:24 IST

A lot has been riding on Ilaya Thalapathi Vijay's Pongal extravaganza, Villu (Bow) after the debacles of the year before. Prabhu Deva [Images] directs the Ayngaran International's latest Tamil venture.                                  

Predictably, these days it's the image of Vijay and his fan association's 'flag' that unroll first, giving his hysterical fans plenty of opportunity to shriek their hearts out and tear your ear-drums. And the hero himself makes an appearance soon enough, amidst colourful cloths, showers of paper confetti and whistles.

This time, his chosen avatar is that of Pugazh who flies atop ships, sails through seas and grabs hold of Raka, one of the world's biggest villains single-handedly. But things take a different turn when, instead of jumping straightway into a song, he whispers mysteriously to Joseph (Manoj K Jeyan), the police officer, "Operation Success."

That makes you sit up. After quite a while, here's Tamil's very own Bond, full of style, verve and the mandatory songs, of course. Pugazh then drops his James Bond [Images] avatar and lands up in Vayalur for a marriage  and enter Janvi (Nayanthara [Images]) in skimpy bikini scantily covered, and cho-chweet mannerisms. Of course, Madasamy (Vadivelu) also makes an appearance, as the sound services guy and a good many genuine laughs can be had. Together, the trio falls in and out of adventures, slap-stick comedy and a couple of more songs -- Vada Mappillai might be chockfull of lewd lyrics, but it does make you want to jive.

Meanwhile, Pugazh is still on a mysterious mission, as he taps away messages online  outlining that he's made Janvi fall in love with him. So what was next? Enter Janvi's father JD (Prakashraj) and cohort Shyam, who complete the Raka triangle  and Pugazh is rudely thrust into their midst, leading to more James Bond-like adventures.

Role-wise, Vijay seems to have genuinely enjoyed his outing here. He's given a little holiday to rural adventures and gone full out in designer-wear, sporting suits, casual wear, shades and generally boating, flying and dancing in exotic foreign locales. Perhaps he's had a hankering after Billa's style and score; quite a few scenes remind you of the film. Of course, the last half an hour is pure overkill -- but who cares? Vijay's got enough panache left to sail through it, and as usual he dances really well.

Nayanthara stumbles through yet another role that painfully relegates her to a sexy bimbette, wearing bikini tops in see-through shirts. It's time someone let this girl act, for a change, instead of making faces.

Vadivelu provides some real laughs but the cow-fight he engages in makes no sense. Prakashraj essentially re-enacts his Ghilli persona in a terrible wig, minus the fire.

Ravi Varman's camera showcases Vijay lovingly, while Kola Bhaskar's editing keeps things slick and sharp. Devisri Prasad's songs are all meant to wring the best out of the star-cast, like Daddy Mummy and Jalsa.

Its Prabhu Deva's screenplay that makes you sit through the movie. Appropriate twists and turns -- even if logic has taken a toss and quite a few loose ends are never tied up -- make sure you're awake, and give Vijay's fans enough to cheer about. Every opportunity has been taken to bring Rajnikanth [Images] or MGR onscreen. It's fun, peppy, enthusiastic minus any rhyme or reason, of course.

So leave your brains behind and prepare to enjoy the adventures of a Tamil James Bond.

Rediff Rating:

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