Finally, got to see Viswasam. With the positive reviews, continuous recommendations and promotions by all film critics, it made me more excited to watch this along with my family. This is the fourth outing from Ajith & Siva combo and a desperate one indeed after the disaster called “Vivegam”. However this time, Siva played it safe by using his “tried and tested” formula where the protagonist’s job is to safeguard someone from the villains – we saw the same theme in "Siruthai (cops daughter)", "Veeram (lovers family)", "Vedalam (sister)", "Vivegam (wife)" and now "Viswasam(daughter)". Incidentally, "Petta" also has a similar theme, however the treatment and screenplay made the difference.
Ajith Kumar plays the role of "Thookudurai", who is a rice mill owner and is also a respected savior of the village and everyone’s darling in the family. He is shown as a character who takes decisions from the heart. He meets Niranjana (Nayanthara) who comes to the village from Mumbai for a medical camp. After some initial confrontations, she falls in love with him. They get married and get blessed with a daughter. However, few incidents force her to leave Thookudurai and move back to Mumbai with her daughter. After 10 years, Thookudurai decides to go and patch up with Niranjana, but finds them entangled in another problem. How he saves them forms the rest of the story.
The screen presence of Ajith is the biggest plus for the film. He tries everything– be it comedy, action, sentiment and dance too. However, he excels in action and sentiment but falls flat on comedy mainly because of poor writing in the first half. This is also the reason why the film drags in the first half until the interval scene. Since this is a supposed to be a family movie, you have many people thrown around the screen and they keep roaming everywhere in the house along with the lead pair. You have no clue who they are and what they are upto...but all of them seem to be very happy artificially (compare this to "Kadaikutty Singam" where the family members had more details and at the same time very grounded). Infact in the scene where Niranjana proposes to Thookudurai, she quotes this as the very reason for falling in love with him, not knowing what she was getting into. The characters played by Robo Shankar and Thambi Ramaiah are a pain to watch and add to the frustration. As the movie shifts base to Mumbai, it becomes more interesting. It was good to see comedian Vivek back on screen and he does evoke some laughter in the second half.
Nayanthara has a solid role – strong, poignant and a very sharp character unlike regular Tamil film heroines. Some bit of detailing of her family background would have helped the marriage sequences. Anikha, who plays their daughter has a large role in the second half and matches up to the performance of Ajith and Nayanthara. Jagapathy Babu plays the role of the villain (Gautham). Though they show him as a very brilliant, educated and successful businessman, he roams around with a bunch of goonda's and can go to any extent to achieve his ambition.Cinematography (Vetri) was perfect for the genre. I loved the aerial shots of villages in the beginning. D. Immans background score is apt for the action sequences and rural milieu. The song Kannana Kanne is the highlight of the film and stays with you even when you leave the theatre. The interval block and climax fight was choreographed well.
The last fight in the stadium was unwanted, kept wondering why dint Thookudurai or his daughter tell Gautham that they brought his daughter to watch the event. The second half of the film happens in Mumbai but you never get that experience. Except for few shots, most of the scenes are shot in sets (Ramoji Film City) and some in Chennai as well. This takes away the genuineness from the film. The much hyped interval dialogue where Thookudurai gives his and his family details to Gautham (pitched against Rajini's dialogue in "Petta" trailer) falls flat as its uttered from no where and does not connect with the previous dialogue. It seems the director forgot this scene (or added intentionally after Petta trailer ?) because later in the tea shop scene, we see Gautham telling Thookudurai that he knows his relationship with Swetha (daughter) again. Too many songs are another drawback. The Thiruvizha (temple feast) which happens every 10 years suddenly pops up in the end again.. but no signs of ageing? The director who showed the 10 year difference with grey hair for the hero and his both side-kicks, could have done something for other characters as well.
So what makes Viswasam a good watch? In my opinion, it’s definitely the sentimental scenes with a touch of “feel good factor” towards the end. Director Siva does a good job here by not making it very melodramatic and at the same time enjoyable. This combined with towering performance from Ajith and Anikha just eclipse the negatives to a large extent. The producers and distributors have used this to sell the film as a family entertainer and it seems to have worked big time. Siva and team have a winner in Viswasam – the BO numbers are speaking for itself. This could very well be the highest grosser for Ajith ever. Nevertheless, you still wonder if it could have been much better if Siva and Team gave more weightage to the detailing.
Rating - 3.5 / 5