'Vivekam', starring Ajith, Vivek Oberoi and Kajal Aggarwal in main roles, hits the screens this Friday. Here is our review of the spy thriller.
Ajay Kumar (Ajith), referred to as AK in short, is a brilliant, daring intelligence officer with a luminous intuition. What a hundred governments and dozens of militaries can't achieve, he can pull it off in style whenever he goes on a single-man mission. A team of five (Vivek Oberoi and others) are his best buddies at the military.
Somewhere in Serbia, Natasha (Akshara Hassan in a cameo), a hacker, has been sucked into a criminal world, and she is wanted by many governments. In his attempt to track her, AK realizes that treason is the biggest challenge he has to face.
To make the matters worse for AK, his task is crying for him to race against time. A disguised gang, calling itself a secret society, is out to ruin India by engineering plutonium-induced earthquakes.
It's up to AK to defeat backstabbers, wage a battle that spans several terrains, and win the final war all while saving his lovely wife, Hasini (played by Kajal Aggarwal). How does he achieve the impossible and save himself, his wife and the country? That's the second half.
Just a few minutes into the film, there comes a scene that gives the earliest warning about what is to come. The good wife Hasini, who always seems to be on the verge of crying, doesn't know how to cater to all the orders at her hotel. This is when her headache is resolved in a jiffy by her omnipotent, omniscient hubby, who is shown making some idlis, all with a beaming smile on his face. He is just back from a mission that would have killed him beyond recognition. The wife, with the most thankful grin on her face and mild tears in her heavy-duty eyes, thanks him through Morse code. God!
In another frighteningly melodramatic moment, the wife emerges with a background song even as her husband is busy finishing the monstrous villain once and for all. This is your date with the 1980's-era climax, wherein one angry woman (usually the female lead), would take it upon herself to wake the village's dormant God out of slumber by singing and dancing in an ultra emotional fashion.
Gun fights, fist-to-fist combats, chases. Repeat. This is what the first half is mostly about.
Conversations are few and far between. A pucca Ajith-oriented actioner, the action sequences are predominantly hero-driven. Hi-fi technology, gadgets, swanky cars, killing ammunition - these are almost everywhere, scene after scene. The only place they are not seen is perhaps when the lead pair is romancing in a hurriedly done romantic song. Otherwise, even emotional moments like where the foetus in the wife's womb has to speak to its father through its heart beat, the tyranny of technology makes its presence felt!
Faced with a private army in one of the opening scenes, Ajith says to himself 'Never ever give up' and jumps off a cliff, only to head into a dam, upside down. The film gets the actual antagonist towards the interval. It's to him that the hero says, 'You. Will. See. My. Rage'. Such fanboy moments are very few, though. Comedian Karunakaran tickles the funny bone with his awe in Ajith's presence. He is essentially the hero's sidekick in the first half.
The conversations between the hero-villain duo in the second half start to look jaded after a point. They are too dry.
This is Ajith's film all the way. He brims with gusto and vigour. When he says lines like 'Ee bhoomi meeda ammudu poni nyayam, longi poni dharmam inka unnayi', you can't help but clap. However, he is hardly supported by an able star cast. Vivek Oberoi as the second most important character is a dampener. His one-note act is featureless. Kajal was asked to emote as if a patriot's wife has to over-act as a rule. She is mercilessly wasted.
Anirudh Ravichander's songs are noisy. Enough said. The BGM is nimble, although, at places, it gets over-the-top. Vetri's cinematography is top-notch.
'Vivekam' features action, action, action. Visually breathtaking to an extent, but the writing gets a raw deal. Ajith and aplomb go together. But Vivek Oberoi and Kajal don't rise to the occasion.