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Namma Veettu Pillai movie review: A largely satisfying rural family drama

Namma Veettu Pillai movie review: Barring a few missteps, this Sivakarthikeyan-starrer is a definite crowd-pleaser.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Written by S Subhakeerthana | Chennai |
Updated: September 27, 2019 9:34:16 pm
Namma Veettu Pillai review Namma Veettu Pillai movie review: Pandiraj doesn’t bank entirely on Sivakarthikeyan’s ‘saleability’, and that’s the best thing about Namma Veettu Pillai.

Namma Veettu Pillai movie cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Aishwarya Rajesh, Anu Emmanuel, Bharathiraja, Natty
Namma Veettu Pillai movie director: Pandiraj
Namma Veettu Pillai movie rating: 3 stars

Namma Veettu Pillai isn’t a great film, but Pandiraj gets many things right. Nothing is quite new—it’s pretty much everything you have seen—the brother-sister sentiment, the mother-son sentiment, the cliched romance, ego clashes, melodrama, conflict between in-laws and how the ‘hero’ triumphs over adversities.

Arumpon (Sivakarthikeyan) is extremely protective of his sister Thulasi (Aishwarya Rajesh). No, they aren’t blood relatives. You get their backstories later. Thulasi shares an uneasy relationship with her extended family. What happens when she decides to marry Ayyanar (Natty) forms rest of the story. This somewhat reminded me of the recently-released Sivappu Panjal Pachai, which I didn’t like.

Pandiraj doesn’t bank entirely on Sivakarthikeyan’s ‘saleability’, and that’s the best thing about Namma Veettu Pillai. It’s more a Pandiraj film than Sivakarthikeyan’s—which wasn’t the case with Mr Local and Seema Raja.

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There are lots of similarities between Pandiraj’s previous outing Kadaikutty Singam and Namma Veettu Pillai. Both have a huge star cast, emotional moments, the generic revenge subplot, lungi-sporting men but the Sivakarthikeyan film is better than the Karthi-starrer—in terms of writing and presentation.

Namma Veetu Pillai is as much about the vulnerabilities in the hero as it is about him being wronged by Ayyanar. The film comes together when the story builds on the bond that Arumpon shares with his mother (played by Archana) and Thulasi. Though Namma Veettu Pillai revolves around Sivakarthikeyan’s character, he doesn’t get glorified. That’s why the film works. Arumpon is a self-made man and respects women. Sivakarthikeyan breezes very likably through every scene.

The portions involving Sivakarthikeyan and Aishwarya Rajesh are moving and make you root for their characters. Thankfully, Namma Veetu Pillai doesn’t have the usual silly comedy tracks between Sivakarthikeyan and Soori, like Seema Raja. Pandiraj keeps the writing simple, free-flowing and clean.

The list of characters in the film is long, but each has a memorable role to play—be it Archana, director Bharathiraja, Vela Ramamoorthy or Samuthirakani.

But the problem is the film doesn’t rise above being the generic family drama. It could have been a lot better had Pandiraj avoided a few things—including the unnecessary role, played by Yogi Babu.

Like any other rural drama, Namma Veettu Pillai also has a ‘function’ when a girl hits puberty. And, there’s this customary Panchayat scene towards the end. Elements like these can appeal more to the B and C centre audience.

But what kept bothering me was Anu Emmanuel’s role. There’s something unsettling about her characterisation. She aspires to become a collector, but nobody takes her seriously, including the audience. During a conversation, she asks Arumpon not to question if she wears leggings or smears lipstick. Discussing such not-so-relevant things in a crucial point of the film dampens your mood. I am not asking for “solid, sensible” romantic track. Something superficial, at least, would do.

Namma Veettu Pillai does have playing-to-the-gallery moments—but that’s all right. Once a director establishes this is what he wants to do, as an audience, you are prepared for it. Pandiraj shows what he wants you to see and passes on every emotion, which the characters go through, to the audience.

With Namma Veettu Pillai, Pandiraj, once again, proves he can make commercial films that strike a chord with all. That’s the thing with commercial cinema. You know this is what you are going to say. But the challenge lies in how you put the same story across in a different way.

Further, I like how Pandiraj uses his film to critique some of the things in our lives. It’s not really about raising an issue or offering any solution, but living with it.

D Imman’s background score and songs are a huge strength to Namma Veettu Pillai. Sid Sriram weaves magic with Un Koodave Porakkanum song. This is a sure ear-worm and will be on loop once you listen to it.

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