Review: Vandi – Quirky tale

Hyperlink screenplays have been experimented on and off in Kollywood. However, a strong story and an emotional substance in the plot needs to be present in the narration to drive the screenplay towards an effective resolution. Here comes Vidaarth’s Vandi. Though it fails in hyperlink screenplay, yet it has a strong message to convey.

The movie is more like a repetition of events in three days, happening for three different sets of people. There are totally three chapters that end at the same vantage point. The only connecting factor of all these three sections of the storyline is the two-wheeler ‘Duttu’, which is profiled with a character.

Though there are ‘n’ number of people, the entire narration is centered on Duttu, whose three journeys turn out to be the names of the chapters – Velai Payanam, Saagasa Payanam and Kaadhal Payanam (Work, Adventure and Love).

The subtext of all it is that these three elements are actually the major part of human life. A person works to win his daily bread, goes through a lot of adventures and hardships, and he is also in love. So, Duttu itself is a personification of a man’s life and faces a lot of conflicts.

The movie does not have a definite start or an end; even the final credits say, ‘Journey Continues’. So does life. We are subjected to a lot of hardship and we find a way out of it and before we even feel happy about that, we face the next difficulty and our journey continues.

In a scene when Krishna (Vidaarth) and his friend Arun think that all their problems are going to be over as the three days are about to end, there arises another problem from where the entire story takes a new turn. In fact, the screenplay of Vandi is also metaphorical to that of the life of a man.

Krishna’s characterisation is quite complicated as his attitude is to ‘go with the flow’. He does not have a plan for the week, not even for a day, while his friend Arun is fearful about his life which is completely filled with exaggerations. When Arun is in a small trouble, his mind complicates it to be big with hypothetical thoughts. He is a parking token collector at a railway station but pretends to be a Central government employee – exaggeration again. While the third inmate of the room is Rafiq who has a long-time plan – that of finding the love of his life.

There are other interesting characters in the film played by John Vijay and Madan Bob. Every character is quirky in its own way. Despite being far from reality, they are entertaining and engaging in terms of film language. But, the combination of quirky characters with close-to-ground dialogues is quite an imbalance in the writing. There are very organic lines spoke in the film. For instance, ‘English medicine saapten illiya, athaan tea saapdanumnu thonichu,’ tells a character. Also, the accent of English should have been taken care of, as many words sound very Tamil-ish, rather than being foreign.

Despite so many people in the cast, the hyperlinks are limited. Had these moments been more, Vandi might have had an engaging factor, as well. Howbeit, in the way Rajesh Balachandiran, as writer and director, tried to convey what he wanted to say, this movie is a gem. It is a bonanza for film analysts to read a lot about telling a lighter story in a complex film language.

Santhosh Mathevan