Yet another gem from Vetrimaaran!
Viduthalai Part 1
- Cast: Soori, Vijay Sethupathi, Gautam Vasudev Menon, Bhavani Sre, and Chetan
- Director: Vetrimaaran
- Producer: Elred Kumar
- Music: Ilaiyaraaja
- Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes
Viduthalai Part 1 has been so realistically shot and the story so compellingly told that it is almost impossible for one to remain unmoved.
Need we even say that Viduthalai (Freedom) Part 1 is yet another gem from Vetrimaaran and that it has realism and class stamped all over it?
A police story
The story revolves around Kumaresan (Soori), a constable who is freshly assigned to a police unit.
The unit is tasked with capturing Perumal aka Vaathiyaar (Vijay Sethupathi), the popular leader of a rebellious outfit that protects the rights of indigenous, downtrodden people in the hills.
For the government, the capture of the rebels, in general, and Vathiyaar, in particular, holds immense significance.
The capture will pave the way for them to make money by selling the land to a mining corporation interested in plundering the resources of the region.
The police unit is stationed deep inside the forests where the rebels roam freely with the support of the locals.
Kumaresan has two distinct qualities that set him apart from the rest of the unit.
He is a very conscientious policeman, always looking to help the locals in whatever way he can.
Polite, obedient, helpful and respectful to everybody, Kumaresan comes across as a pushover to everybody in the force.
Yet another significant characteristic of Kumaresan is his tenacious nature.
He holds on to his ground when he knows that what he has done is right — even in the face of brute force and authority.
It is under these circumstances that one day, Kumaresan saves an old woman fighting for her life by dropping her and her granddaughter Tamilarasi (Bhavani Sre) at a hospital in his police jeep.
Kumaresan is severely punished for the “offence” of saving an elderly woman’s life by disobeying a superior’s order. However, Tamilarasi falls in love with the honest and helpful police constable.
As Kumaresan starts spending more time at the camp, he begins to understand the reason why the locals hate the cops.
He also notices the brutal and inhuman methods the cops have been employing mercilessly to hunt down their targets.
It is at this time that Tamilarasi one day discloses that she is a relative of the elusive Perumal, whom the police are after for almost 25 years.
What happens then is what the story is all about.
And director #VetriMaaran’s #ViduthalaiPart1 is off to an incredible start. Book your tickets soon. @ilaiyaraaja @VijaySethuOffl @sooriofficial @elredkumar @rsinfotainment @BhavaniSre @VelrajR @DirRajivMenon @menongautham @mani_rsinfo @kalaignartv_off @DoneChannel1 pic.twitter.com/9fgUlxlT70
— Red Giant Movies (@RedGiantMovies_) March 31, 2023
Told with heart and passion
Like almost every other Vetrimaaran film, this story, too, is told with a lot of heart and passion. It is insightful, giving the viewers a comprehensible understanding of the mindset of those serving in the police force.
The level of inhuman nature of the officers is directly proportional to their ranks. As the ranks keep increasing, so does their inhumanness.
Kumaresan is always looking to help people and is confident of his abilities to capture the rebels.
His immediate superiors are more empathetic and accommodative than their higher-ups — one of whom is a sadist to the core.
The film is based on Thunaivan, a story of eminent writer B Jeyamohan. The detailing is so good that you actually feel the pain of the oppressed.
Actors steal the show
Soori — who was only known as a comedian prior to this film — showcases a completely different facet in this film. He simply turns into constable Kumaresan.
Lean, mean and exceptionally fit, Soori looks every bit the character and delivers an outstanding performance, probably the best in his career so far.
Vijay Sethupathi, who plays Vathiyaar, is just spot on with his portrayal of a fearless warrior willing to stick his neck out against the administration for the sake of protecting the rights of the people.
Also read: Higuita Malayalam movie review
Director Gautham Vasudev Menon plays Sunil Menon, the new police officer who is transferred to the region to catch the rebels.
He delivers a commanding performance which takes the intensity of the film to a new high.
Director Rajeev Menon, who plays a senior officer in the government, also comes up with an impactful performance.
Bhavani Sre just nails her part as Tamilarasi. She undergoes e a complete transformation for the role.
Best technical support
Ilaiyaraaja’s music is apt.
Cinematographer Velraj, Vetrimaaran’s most trusted cameraman, delivers brilliant visuals that make you feel as if you are watching the developments unfold in person.
Vetrimaaran’s thorough understanding of not just the pain of the downtrodden tribals but also the pain of those in the lower rungs of the police force enables him to come up with this absorbing and hard-hitting film.
It also throws light on the exploitative mindset of administrators and politicians.
Vetrimaaran ends Viduthalai Part 1 at a crucial stage but not before giving a glimpse of what is in store in Viduthalai Part 2.
And if one is to go by what is shown in the end, Viduthalai Part 2 is likely to be even more magnificent than the first part.
This is a must-watch. Don’t miss it for anything in this world!
(Views expressed are personal.)