Manoj Beedha-Guru Somasundharam’s Vanjagar Ulagam

When numerous Kollywood films suffer from the problem of oversimplification, #VanjagarUlagam faces the problem not explaining enough. There are several ideas placed in the story, many hints that taunt us with more layers but never really lets us in. Also, it contradicts itself a lot. In one breath, a woman character is berated to be a slut, only to be ‘redeemed’ at the end of the same dialogue sequence. This contradiction and the lack of explanation for the seemingly placed nuances, bury a lot of interesting ideas in Vanjagar Ulagam.

For example, the colour themes in VU. There male characters are dressed in a lot of blue for no-apparant reason (maybe to signify coldness?). Mythili (Chandhini Tamizharasan) gets a lot of red and pink (to signify love and lust?). Their houses get the same colour template. Also the play with identities — two characters reveal their true ‘identity’ at crucial points. But since we don’t get enough details, these threads don’t lead us anywhere significant. Moreover, the performances needed to be more nuanced to convince us of all these convolutions. But full marks to #ManojBeedha for giving us a fascinating don in the form of #GuruSomasundaram. The ‘macho’ mask Guru done for the so-called imperfection he think he has is brilliant. So is the avant-garde cinematography. #SamCS is a true hero with his experimental and very enjoyable soundtrack. The usage of Kuzhal oodhum in a gun-fight sequence is inspired. (The play on Kuzhal, get it?) But wish the overall writing had matched up to it.

One thing though. Vanjagar Ulagam couldn’t have gotten a better release date.

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