Can you think of any director who has been able to churn out quality comedy films (forget the content) continuously in a career spanning more than 2 decades? Hardly any right? May be Priyadarshan was one who did it but largely in Malayalam. “Ullathai Allitha” - the debut film of Sundar C was released in 1996 and was a rollicking hit. It was a trendsetter and gave the confidence to many directors to attempt comedy after a long time. Since then, except for few films (like “Arunachalam” and “Anbe Sivam”) Sundar C was able to deliver good comedy films one after another. It did not matter who was the hero, he had a very simple and similar template for all his films – one line story, very colorful costumes/frames, a large family with countless actors, double meaning dialogues and some flashy songs - all shielded under comedy scenes and situations – both hysterics and dialogues.
“Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven” (title inspired from the dialogue in “Chekka Chivantha Vaanam”) looks to be very similar except that it has STR (Silambarasan) in the lead role, who is collaborating with the director for the first time. Already the film has ended up in controversy after STR asking his fans to celebrate the release lavishly across the theaters. The trailer had all elements of a Sundar C film along with typical STR swags and punch dialogues and crossed a million views in Youtube very quickly.
So what’s that one line story in Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven ? Raghunandhan (played by Nasser) is a very rich businessman. He has a son (Suman) and daughter Nandhini (Ramya Krishnan). Nandhini marries (Prabhu as a lawyer) against his wish and moves out of the house. Adhi (his grandson played by STR) is given the job of uniting the family after decades. Yes, the same story which was used by most directors who opt for a family drama as the subject (Probably used by Sundar C himself more than twice).
The first half does not have anything interesting to write about. With few sub-plots added to the story, the movie is dragged for 2 hours. Like all his earlier films, the film has so many characters, a large family (infact the same family from his earlier film “Ambala”) with many glamorous daughters and servants just to fill up the screen space. Except for VTV Ganesh and Robo Shankar, everyone had just one act to do – stand behind the lead actors and see the proceedings. It’s only after the introduction of Yogi Babu’s character (typically played by Vadivelu or Santhanam in his earlier films), the film becomes alive and shifts into a "Sundar C" comedy. But, the damage is already done. The movie does not end with that… it further extends into a long sentimental climax, by then the audience start screeching with impatience.
Simbu does his best to keep the film entertaining with his mannerisms, dance and fights. But we just end up pitying him for having accepted this film without any content. Catherine Teresa is added just for the song and dance sequences. Megha Akash has a larger role but struggles to perform in most of the scenes. Yogi Babu again steals the show in the end with his funny one-liners and sarcasm. In one scene, he mocks the director itself when he says – “Ithu enna Kootu kudumbama ila Kootamana Kodumbama”
Nothing much to discuss about the technicalities for a film of this genre. Background score from Hip Hop Tamizha was apt but the songs were below average. The song “Vaanga Machan” was enjoyed in the theaters as it immediately follows the most entertaining part in the film. Its high time Sundar C spend some time to fix the flaws in his scripts before making a movie. The character of Radha Ravi is shown as a villager and the village shown is Avadi – when was Avadi a village? The Avadi station scenes are shot very clearly in Ramoji Film City. I wish they atleast used some quality CG work to make it appear genuine.
Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven falls into a typical Sundar C template sans comedy for a large part. With some quality films releasing this weekend, its best to avoid this and look out for other options.
Rating – 2/5