'Adirindhi', starring Vijay, Nithya Menen, SJ Suryah, Sathyaraj, Samantha, Kajal and others, hits the screens this Thursday. Here is our review.
Dr. Bhargav (Vijay), a revered doctor who treats the poor for just Rs. 5, is believed to have committed a series of murders in India as well as Paris. A cop (played by Sathyaraj) traces him in Hyderabad and starts an interrogation.
All the killed have a commonality: they all belong to the medical profession.
While the cops are clueless, it's revealed that Vijay, who looks exactly like Bhargav, is on the prowl. An unscrupulous medical business magnate named Daniel (SJ Suryah) is his next target and he himself is caught in a bind towards the climax.
Why do the magician and businessman want to kill each other is revealed in an emotional flashback that is the crux of the screenplay.
To be sure, 'Adirindhi' has rightly been described as 'Vichitra Sodarulu'-meets-'Tagore'. But since Atlee is a Shankar protege, he has conjured up Vijay's own 'Bharateeyudu' moment as well. The latter is the film's most underrated strength.
It's remarkable how 'Adirindhi' progresses from being a flawed mass entertainer to an emotional fare through the two halves. A dhoti-clad Dr. Bhargav steps into a Paris airport, only to be strip-searched and humiliated. This racism makes the genius quote Shah Rukh Khan as if doctors don't read a Martin Luther King or an Ambedkar. After he receives a global award at an event in the same city, he turns into Dhanush's Raghuvaran B.Tech in giving a nice warning to an unethical medical baron! Atlee next introduces the mom sentiment. Kovai Sarala screams over a Skype call. Phew!
Back in India, this doctor with an impeccable social record actually flirts with the interviewer (Samantha Akkineni) during a TV interview even while he calmly outrages over the state of healthcare in India. If this scene doesn't define the "commercial story-telling" of the Atlee variety, nothing else can.
It's in the scene where an auto driver loses his school-going daughter thanks to the avarice of a corporate hospital that 'Adirindhi' for the first time acquires its Shankar-esque self. What an episode, this! The way the girl is shown struggling in her last moments even as the monstrous docs are conspiring against her life is heart-wrenching. This is perhaps the only kudos-worthy episode in the whole first half.
In the second half, Vijay is awesomely grand in the role of Dalapathy, the village's beloved youngster with a bleeding heart. The beard and moustache elevate the superstar's grace so well. His chemistry with Nithya Menen (who actually gets more screen space than both Kajal Aggarwal and Samantha) is lovely. In this crucial flashback block, the narration is fabulous in the scene where Dalapathy tells his son his love story even as a catharsis is unfolding in the operation theatre, where his wife is believed to be undergoing a caesarean.
As for the villain's character, thankfully, the evolution of SJ Suryah is not cliched. The way he predicts a doomsday scenario for commercial healthcare in India is interesting.
The fights are nothing home to write about. Kajal and Samantha are wasted in dumb characters. Don't expect laughs despite Vadivelu, Yogi Babu and all. Some of the scenes overstay. But for some touching lines, don't expect magic as the big stars and SJ Suryah and 'Kattappa' Sathyaraj speak. One song in the flashback is too lengthy. The film could have been 15 minutes shorter.
AR Rahman's songs are passable, while the BGM adds grandeur to some scenes. Vishnu's cinematography and Ruben's editing perfectly complement Muthuraj's colourful and innovative production design. The magic tricks are a treat to watch most of the times.
A revenge story has been given a creative spin by writers Atlee and Vijayendra Prasad. When the film gets intense, it entertains big-time. Sans too much length and some cliches, it could have been better.