It seems that the director has completely lost his midas touch and just presented the film with excellent Indian aquatic and forest locations like a documentary video of 'Incredible India campaign'!
In fact there is no perfect story in the film. It looks like Mani has just collected all the news paper cuttings and made his script. It seems that he has simply copied the outlines of the epic Raamayan and mixed it with the modern day Robinhood Veerappan's story.
Veera (Vikram), a Robin Hood-like macho man has been portrayed as a Raavanan, and his elder brother Singam (Prabhu), younger brother Sakkarai (Munna) live in a tribal village somewhere near Thirunelveli. Veera runs his own Government and his followers abide to his words. He is the strength of the tribal. Everyone loves, respectes and fears him and even ready to sacrifice their life for him.
Dev (Prithviraj), as described God (Ram character) is the special task force Superintendent of Police and is on the hunt of Veera with other cops and a forest guard (Karthik), a new age Hanuman. His goddess like wife Ragini (Aishwarya Rai) the Sita character, is also with him. In a operation, Veera's sister Vennaila (Priyamani in the character of Surpanangai) was taken by the special task force and raped her in the police station.
To settle his personal vengeance with Dev, Veera kidnapped Ragini as his hostage for 14 days. Ragini initially feared to see Veera and thinks he is a brutal beast, later discovers that her 'God like" husband is no saint and has dark shades in his character, too. When Veera released her without demanding anything from anybody her husband asks her for a polygraph test to prove her chastity. What happens next should been seen on the silver screen.
Technically the film has got some plus points and the main attraction is the amazing camera work by Santosh Sivan. His shots, angles and presentation are simply superb.
The technique of using water as one of the characters has come up as a plus point in the film. It really thrills the mood of audience in come scenes. And the climax fight between Vikram and Prithviraj on the bridge is extraordinary, with picture perfect top angle shots and camera movements.
The major minus in the film is Vikram's character. Though the actor has worked hard to give life to the character, his efforts has gone in vein due to the psycho nature of the character. There is no powerful moves or spine chilling action sequences (except the bridge stunt). In fact, in few scenes the overdose of madness in his character makes a mockery of the character itself!
The character of Aishwarya is also not convincing. Ash having a change of heart for Vikram is equally unpalatable and makes you wonder, how and when did she develop such strong feelings for Veera? But no doubt, Ash's appearance steals the heart.
Prithviraj's role as a tough cop and his loud shouts are irritating. The director used Karthik as a clown, but the case of Prabhu, he is perfectly fitting to the role. Nothing special to mention about Priyamani and Ranjitha.
Another biggest let down is AR Rahman"s music.The picturisation and placement, for which the duo is famous, is alo disappointing. Most of the songs of the film looks like speed breakers in the film. Samir Chanda's art work looks very artificial, particularly the broken statue amidst the flowing water. Suhasini's dialogues are very amateur and a fresher can handle this better than her.
The first half of the film is just crawling and testing the viewers patience. It is better Mani Ratnam may try for a straight Tamil film next time.
Moreover the Tamil nativity or flavour or realism are also missing in the whole content.
Credits: Vikram, Aishwarya Bachchan, Prithviraj, Prabhu, Karthik, Priyamani
Camera: Santoshj Sivan
Music: A R Rahman
Art: Sameer Chanda
Direction: Mani Ratnam
Producer: Big Pictures & Madras Talkies