Vandi: A Politically Incorrect Film With Offensive Humour & Amateur Execution
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Vandi is a film without a purpose. Remember those old-school videotapes that come with old comedy and scenes weaved together? The vadivel specials and the Goundamani specials? Imagine a pervert edition of the same and that paints the perfect picture of Vandi. If Vandi (vehicle) was really more about the Vandi than the sleazy men who travel with it, the film would have been better. Adding spice to a barely existing idea cannot do much to help it lift off the ground can, it? Not only does that film underwhelm you but if offends every gaze but the male gaze.
Vandi is the journey of a bike named Duttu. This Duttu touches upon the lives of three men, Krishna (Vidharth), Arun, and Rafiq whose lives are now intertwined by the troubles this bike brings with it. Krishna is a waiter, Arun a railway parking space employee and Rafiq, a waiter at a roadside eatery. The lives of the three men come dripping in financial woes. These woes take a turn for the worse when Krishna loses a gangster’s mobile phone and ends up using a stolen bike to try and retrieve it. Whether or not these men break themselves free from the chaos created by this sinister bike forms the crux of this film.
Vandi sets out with great ambition. To an extent, the film’s one line looks exciting on paper. But the problem lies with the director’s inability to effectively scale out this simple one line into an exciting feature film. From the film’s screenplay, dialogues and direction, it is underwhelming and a complete bore at times. The film, as mentioned above follows a hyperlink manner of narration. The core begins when a bike goes missing. Ideally, this could have been a Polladhavan meets Aayutha Ezhuthu if done right. Such a one-line comes bursting with potential. Sadly, none of this potential is tapped into. Rather than getting to the point, the film’s screenplay moves along at the pace of a snail, leaving you utterly disappointed.
One of the most problematic aspects of the film are the dialogues. They are either too long, too outdated or have no realistic modulations. The dialogues in Vandi seemed to have been coined with no purpose at all. They act as fillings that are used to bridge the gap in achieving a decent run-time.
In its three stories, the film raises three problems and then proceeds to give us three respective solutions. But what do you do if these problems never seem trivial enough? The solutions that follow appear too juvenile to be deemed worthy of anybody’s attention. The entire first half is dedicated to the first story alone. One would think, after such a miscalculation in time allotment, the other two stories will proceed at warp speed. But this doesn’t happen either. Instead, the first half-acknowledges the first story, drags it on and leaves it incomplete. The second half merely scratches the surface of the remaining two stories, never seeing either through completion. The amount of time it takes for the film to get to the point is so long that you feel like you’ve been stuck in the theatre for days together.
If you cut down all the unnecessary scenes and dialogues from the film, chances are the runtime would be a meager thirty minutes. It is as though the director went on to formulate dialogues and scenes on a spontaneous hunch. From discussing the medicines they’re taking to running through every mundane thought in their head, you, as an audience, have to see and hear it all. To say that this is a tiresome approach would be putting it lightly.
If you thought the only problem with the film is its inability to conceive an effective and engaging screenplay, you thought wrong. The film dishes out everything from the objectification of women to homophobic comedy. It also has misconceived notions of a Tamilian and his passion for his native language. There is a scene in which John Vijay lashes out a man much more severely once he discovers that the convict is a Bengali. He even says it out loud. Women are shamed for not speaking in Tamil. As if this isn’t troubling enough, they are objectified all through the film. From housemaids to the lead heroine, all the women in the film are reduced to objects through vulgar comments and politically incorrect nuances. The bike, which is the core element of the film too makes sexual innuendos when women are seated on it. There is simply no reason as to why this film had to be made. It’s amateurity and politically incorrect approach deems it unfit to be made into a two-hour long feature film.
As Krishna Vidharth delivers an average performance. It remains unclear as to why the actor, who has a reputation for picking good films ever chose to be a part of this shoddy, Vandi. As the police officer, John Vijay is found constantly hamming his way through his character. The other character actors deliver sub-par performances as well.
Sooraj Kurup’s music is quite thrilling, but it is befitting in a film as amateur as this one. The cinematography too is decent. But these relatively strong technical aspects aren’t enough to help this film take off.
On the whole, Vandi is a directionless film that manages to offend and bore you at the same time. Just for its inappropriate innuendos and homophobic comedy, you should most definitely sit this one out.