Vaigai Express: An Investigation Ride that Derails
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The infamous R.K-Shaji Kailas combo is back with their third collaboration Vaigai Express, which is a remake of the Malayalam film Nadiya Kollappetta Rathri. Given that their remake of Chintamani Kolacase titled Ellam Avan Seyal (2008) turned out to be successful, R.K is chancing his luck once again with this remake of a Suresh Gopi starrer.
We’ve seen films where a terrorist on the run finds a shady place to hide; he might even abscond to another state while he is being hunted down by the hero. But the opening sequence of Vaigai Express is rather interesting. The terrorist hides in an amusement park; he is armed with a car stereo remote that is magically capable of exploding objects whenever the hero is running close to it.
Samsudheen Rehman (R.K) is introduced as a one-man army from the railway special task force. He gets appointed to solve the murders of three women Radhika (Neetu Chandra), Yamini and Thulasi Mani that take place in a train bound for Madurai from Chennai. Soon enough, the team identifies and captures a presumed terrorist who blatantly denies the crime. How Samsudheen decodes these mysterious murders forms the rest of the story.
Even with experienced actors on board, Vaigai Express fails to deliver an enthralling investigative ride. It is instead pulled down by sub-standard performances delivered by the so-called varied cast. Accompanied by tacky narration, amateur dubbing, blaring music and flashy visuals, R.K’s investigation over the course of the film is plastered and predictive.
Trying too desperately to portray a typical mass hero, Samsudheen delivers one too many punch dialogues that are interspersed with poor English. Neetu Chandra excels in her dual roles as Radhika and Jyothika while Nasser and Ramesh Khanna deliver smooth performances as investigators.
Even the absence of songs cannot make up for the void S.Thaman’s jarring background score has created. The score manages to further dampen this shoddy investigative ride.
As though the music wasn’t blaring enough, Sanjeev Shankar’s poor cinematography and Don Max’s choppy editing take away whatever little credibility the film tries to establish.
Even though Vaigai Express has bluntly borrowed the screenplay from the Malayalam original, this poorly written remake fails to bring in elements of thrill and mystery to the murders. A better cast and a polished screenplay could have taken this train to its destination.