Viswasam movie cast: Ajith, Nayanthara
Viswasam movie director: Siva
Viswasam movie rating: 2 stars
The interval sequence is the most important part of a big commercial film. No matter how dull and routine the first half was, if the director manages to end it on a high-voltage note, it will revive the audiences’ faith in the filmmaker. It encourages them to return to their seats after a short break even as they know deep inside their heart that, usually, they will have to suffer another hour and a half of dull and routine moments. Director Siva couldn’t even conceive a decent interval sequence, promising a better second half. After an action sequence shot in the Mumbai rain, Thooku Durai (Ajith) tells the entire premise of Viswasam (Loyalty) to the bad man, who is vying for the blood of his daughter Shweta (Bharath Reddy).
Durai tells the villain (played by very tired Jagapati Babu) something like this: You should not mess with a man who was dumped by his wife, banned from meeting his daughter and feeling guilty of not being able to be by the side of his daughter and watch her grow up. Because if he begins to hurt people to express his love for his daughter, even God himself can’t stop him. That’s Viswasam in a nutshell.
Siva has typecast every character in the film with a premise which the director has already milked to the maximum in Veeram and to some more in Vedalam. A happy-go-lucky guy living in a small village. He has a heart of gold and nerves of steel (such a cliché). He is loved by elders, children and all jobless men in his village except for some unscrupulous men. No, I am not talking about Vinayagam of Veeram. Now, he goes by the name of Thooku Durai. He meets a beautiful girl, who is rich, sensitive and well-educated. She visits his village for professional reasons. Again, her name is not Koppuram Devi. In this film, she is called Niranjana (Nayanthara).
Niranjana is introduced to us as a doctor, who is touring villages providing medical services. A song and a few scenes later, she asks Durai to marry her. She even throws away an opportunity to study further at Stanford University, when she finds out that she is pregnant (so typical). Later, we never get to know what happened to her career. It never gets mentioned in the film again. In the second half, we know her as an ambitious and no-nonsense businesswoman. Continuity, go to hell.
The director doesn’t care about anything as long as he somehow reaches the finish line. He hops from a song to family sentiment scene to a fight scene, and to a song. He repeats. Siva puts the audience on a seemingly never-ending loop of one-dimensional characters.
Durai arrives in Mumbai, right on schedule, when his teenage daughter Shweta comes under an attack. He saves her life, obviously. Grows closer to her, again obviously. The main tension in the plot is whether Niranjana will have a change of heart after realising her husband’s love for his family. I wonder, what was the director thinking? Did he think that he could create tension out of something so obvious? Didn’t anyone tell him that whether or not Durai and Niranjana reunite does not really give the audience an emotional thread that they could hold onto until the end. I mean, it has only happened every time in all ‘family entertainers’ in 100 years of Indian cinema.
Ajith tries to use his charm to overshadow the fact that the film has no new story to tell. But, we have seen him do it over and over again on Siva’s watch. In spite of his stardom, he can only do so much to sell a film filled with redundant emotions and narrative techniques. The talented star cast comprising Nayanthara, Thambi Durai, Robo Shankar, Kovai Sarala have all been wasted.
In Veeram, Ajith protected his in-laws. In Vedalam, he protected his foster sister. In Vivegam, he saved his pregnant wife. In Viswasam, he protects his daughter. Ajith-Siva should consider saving the audience from bad movies by taking a very long break from each other.