We all have a lot of dreams. The most vivid of them all is the dream of growing up and being responsible, and most importantly, go to job. It has always been a childhood fantasy for all of us to go to office like our parents. What if this dream is snatched away from a graduate? Blame it on recession and IT boom, most engineering graduates fall prey to well paying jobs, whether or not it has been their specialisation. But those who stick to their dreams are certainly in for a tough time.
Most youth of today is stuck in this rigmarole of resultant unemployment. No amount of talent stands them out in the rush for money. Though quite a subtle ongoing, this bout of unemployment has been a growing mushroom, killing talent in the process. Velraj debuts right on time, throwing light on this pressing issue, in a movie that's sure to touch all hearts.
Caught in the web of pressure to earn but bereft of opportunities, waiting for an opportunity to prove himself is Raghuvaran (Dhanush), who is in the search for the right job for four years, after completing his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. While every day existence is an ordeal for Raghu as the non earning member of the family, with even his younger brother Karthik earning handsomely, he has enough reasons to be dejected. Karthik is the apple of his parents' eyes but Raghu has his mother's (Saranya Ponvannan) undying support and faith in his talent.
At this juncture that Raghu develops interest in his newly moved in neighbour, Shalini (Amala Paul). But fate has it again to get him dejected yet again, given Shalini's employed status and her hefty salary. So Raghu is assumed, by default, to be of help at home and do all errands. While he does attend a few interviews, he's cursed with truthfulness and practicality that leaves him with no job at the end of the day. Just as he begins to see light on one front, he loses his sole pillar of support to his short temper. An engineer's dream cannot be tarnished any worse. How Raghu gathers himself up and touches the pinnacle is the story of the humble yet strong 'Vellaiyilla Pattathari'.
The prime quality of a strong person is to have faith in self and not lose hope under any circumstance. This is rather impossible considering chronic unemployment despite talent. But should a person retain strength in even such adverse conditions, despite complete awareness of his stance, he must learn from Dhanush. Hurt yet strong, emotional yet focused, depressed yet sportive, and not blindly optimistic but realistic, Raghu is all emotions that an unemployed, talented youth would be. He has lived the character dealt to him, who knows to differentiate aspiration from dream. Amala is the understanding partner, who balances her love and career, without letting both trespass borders. Her simplicity is what makes her stand out.
Samuthirakani plays Raghu's father, and he is the typical parent who wants to see the better for his son. He discriminates, scolds and chides his elder son, but loves him all the same. And there could not be a mother more supportive than Saranya's role. She perfectly understands her sons and supports them both equally and justly but with the kind of support each would need. She forms the anchor of the family of men otherwise. Though Vivek appears only in the second half of the film, his mere presence rocks. The combination of Dhanush and Vivek makes for classic comedy, which is sure to hurt your stomach in laughter.
When a cinematographer takes to direction, there is bound to be a set of prejudice and a little amount of doubt in his prowess. But Velraj breaks all stereotypes in delivering a healthy entertainer with a complete story and picture perfect experience. Any unemployment story could have been essayed. But keeping in mind the National Award winning protagonist, the story has been scripted with perfection that it has the right amount of heroics but not artificial heroism. Flow of the story is realistic. Every character portrayed in the right light that befits their role. Though the story is predictable at certain places, the dialogues take the cue in gluing you to the seat, entertaining through and through. Despite being a cinematographer himself, Velraj has left it to Arunbabu who is spell binding in his angles and light. The visual experience of the film literally takes you into the film, rendering you living the experience real time.
Since February, our music players have been ablaze with VIP songs and tones. And here comes the real treat to the ears. While songs kept you engaged, the background score moves you in each phase of the story. Anirudh is an artiste who will always stay close to your heart. Active choreography is observed only in one song, but it rocks the cinema nonetheless. Editing by Rajesh is on the dot, bringing out the best of sportive sequences. Dialogues are a major plus in the movie. Instead of resorting to mainstream bashing and beating up, the story has intellectual wars, confronted with composure and struck back with powerful and creative use of words. With all the rivalry brewing up and steaming hot, the defeat could have done with a delicious power packed fight scene, instead of mere acceptance of naivety. However, this is not a deterrent in a movie which is innovatively handled at every step.
A National Awardee on his famed silver jubilee release is already too much heat to handle. And when it involves a youthful crew aimed at perfection and proven to be young achievers, and the story itself is on the greatest difficulty that today's youth faces, should we say more? 'Vellaiyilla Pattathari' is a film for entertainment seekers of all ages, and a masala that aptly explains the predicament of the unemployed. With this, Velraj leaves behind a message that staying focused never fails.
Rating: 3.5/5 - As the movie says, "dedicated to all engineers"