The success of 'Malai Malai' has propelled the trio Arun Vijay, director A Venkatesh and producers Feather Touch Entertainments to come together for 'Maanja Velu', which is again a commercial mass masala entertainer with enough thrills and spills.
The movie, inspired by Telugu blockbuster 'Lakshyam', is racy from the word go thanks to bubbly Arun Vijay. Giving him good company is yesteryear hero Karthik.
The man who is credited with many hits in 1980s and early 1990s, makes a strong comeback in 'Maanja Velu'. Playing an honest and upright cop, Karthik is impressive not just in stunt sequences but also in comedy.
The whole movie occurs in Tiruchirapallai, where Maanja Velu (Arun Vijay) runs a canteen in the college where he studied. There are a group of people (Santhanam, 'Lollu Sabha' Manohar, Ganja Karuppu and Shakeela) in the canteen bringing the roof down with humour. Anjali (Dhanshika), a student of the college, plays a cat and mouse game with Velu before they both fall in love.
Subash Chandra Bose (Karthik) is Velu's brother and an honest police officer. Their father is a journalist (Vijayakumar) and theirs is a happy family.
Enters Umapathy (Vagai Chandrasekhar), a dreaded influential man in the city. He adopts all greedy ways to usurp others wealth. Bose is after him.
Meanwhile, Umapathy swindles money from a chit fund firm to the tune of Rs 100 crore which Bose is forced to investigate. Bose finishes off Umapathy's men one after another in encounter. But Umapathy hatches a conspiracy and bumps him off.
Velu keeps the death of Bose a secret and launches a crusade to finish Umapathy. The rest of the film is how Velu takes revenge on the baddie.
Arun Vijay has taken off from where he left in 'Malai Malai'. He is right there delivering his best. Be it comedy, action or romance. Action comes naturally to him. His body language and dialogue delivery deserve a mention.
Dhanshika fulfills the role of a heroine, appearing in skimpy costumes for songs. Vagai Chandrasekhar plays a baddie perhaps for the first time. He menaces evil in his eyes and looks apt choice for the role.
Vijayakumar, Ilavarasu among others form part of the cast. The comedy by Santhanam, Ganja Karuppu and team, specially imitating scenes from films like 'Naadodigal', is a laughathon.
Veteran actor Prabhu does a cameo, which does have a positive impact on screen. But the scene-stealer is Karthik. The veteran has done a commendable job and announced his re-entry with a bang.
Mani Sharma's tunes are pacy and racy while Venkatesh's camera is cool. Another highlight of the film is Kanal Kannan's stunts. A Venkatesh, known for his commercial cocktails, has not disappointed fans this time too. A perfect one for those who love masala flicks.