Actor Silambarasan
Actor Silambarasan

VTK review: Silambarasan holds the fort in this one-time watch

VTK is simple yet complicated. Dialogues pack a punch in the first half and are amateurish in the second half. However, there is no dearth of solid performances.
Despite a lot of hype as an STR film, it is Muthu we see on screen(3 / 5)

Cast: Silambarasan, Siddhi Idnani, Raadhika Sarathkumar, Neeraj Madhav, Appukutty, Jaffer Sadiq, Delhi Ganesh and Sara

Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon

Music director: AR Rahman

Synopsis: A small-town boy goes to Mumbai and joins a restaurant as a waiter that is involved in the underworld. This lad needs to either escape from the vicious gang or become one among them

As you read the synopsis of this third collaboration between Gautham Vasudev Menon and Silambarasan-- Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu, you would be reminded of Naayakan or Baasha where Kamal and Rajini leave to Mumbai respectively and end up becoming gangsters. VTK is certainly not your overnight gangster flick where the hero turns demi-god to local people. Muthu, a 19-year old from Naduvakurichi village in Thoothukudi district is a degree holder and works as a labourer in a barren land. The opening scene shows Muthu working in an acre of thorny shrub land. It catches fire and the owner blames Muthu. While Muthu retorts and threatens to manhandle the landlord, his superstitious mother (Radhika) recalls an astrologer's prediction on how Muthu wouldn't dare to kill someone, she plans to send him off to Mumbai to clear the family's debts.

Muthu, with the help of his uncle Sermadurai (Bava Chelladurai) reaches Mumbai, while the latter kills self after a phone call. Muthu gets employed as a waiter and a cleaner at Esakki Parotta Kadai in Chembur. The rest of the first half is about how Muthu settles down in Mumbai. STR's transition from a naive village boy to being an introvert in Mumbai is commendable. His mannerisms of shrugging his shoulders and a particular style of walking with a limp impresses us from the word 'go'.

Despite a lot of hype as an STR film, it is Muthu we see on screen. Jeyamohan's dialogues and Gautham Menon's execution too are equally impressive. Though we see the grey side of Muthu coming into play now and then, he still maintains a low-key style with subtle acting. 45 minutes into the 2 hour 53 minute film, a couple of songs too are a part of the narrative and VTK is set to get better. 10 minutes into the interval block, the movie picks up steam and Muthu's transformation to a gangster makes us forget everything and we all are lured into thinking that Gautham Vasudev Menon is back with a bang. He gets everything right-- Tiruchendur dialect, narration, placement of song and AR Rahman's music is a cherry on the cake.

The second half of the film begins and 15 minutes later, we start scratching our heads on where the story is headed too. Things on screen get chaotic as much as the film's narration and execution. STR, much like the audience, is equally confused as to why all these are happening. At a point in time, he even says, 'Idhelaam edhuku nadakudhunu yaarukume theriyaadhu'. Yes Silambarasan, neither do we.

Siddhi Idnani as Paavai runs around with her hero Muthu. There is violence, bloodshed and some treble in the background music of VTK but we don't know the reason behind it. While the film heads towards the climax, this is when we are made to believe that VTK isn't a complete film from Gautham, but a film that isn't completed. After a Thevar Maganesque dialogue from STR where he advices his men to find a better job and survive, the film fast forwards to five years later, and shows Muthu as even more a dreaded gangster with a bland ending and an announcement of sequel.

VTK is simple yet complicated. Dialogues pack a punch in the first half and are amateurish in the second half. However, there is no dearth of solid performances. STR, Radhika and Siddhi have played their respective roles really well. Another award-winning performance surely from Silambarasan. AR Rahman can rightly be called one of the lead performers of VTK, Songs and background music have lifted the film to a great extent. With huge lag and an abrupt ending to the second half, VTK is a decent one-time watch.

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