Fox Star Studios entered the industry commissioned to deal with quality projects and their first Tamil production Engeyum Eppodhum reflected their motto rather capably. Their latest offering, Vathikuchi, is an action-entertainer written and directed by P. Kinslin, a former associate of A.R. Murugadoss who is also the co-producer of this project.
Vathikuchi tells the story of an individual who unwittingly earns the wrath of others through his own actions, even if it is deemed to be noble. There are separate groups of people that are plotting for his blood, each having their own reasons and motives. Who these individuals are and what drives their vengeance makes for the story of Vathikuchi.
Promoted as the next big action hero, Dhileban literally puts his body on the line as he accords to get beaten, shot at and dragged along rough terrains, but he too has his moments where he displays adeptness in the action sequences as he sends his opponents flying several feet above and beyond. His casting is justified as he fills into the look and demeanor of a share-auto driver quite effectively. Anjali’s character seems like a marriage between her effervescent role in Engeyum Eppodhum and Asin’s role in Ghajini (the former a Fox Star Production and the latter a Murugadoss film is just coincidental?) and her role makes for the light-hearted portions of the movie. The other integral cast members include Jayaprakash, Sampath Raj and Jagan. While Jayaprakash and Sampath Raj have been seen in similar roles in the past, Jagan’s role and performance could prove to be eminent for his career even if his impish expressions might have been one too many. Saranya Ponvannan and Raja play the typical doting parents, and they have little to offer in their roles.
Tuco’s line from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – “When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk”, would serve as a good advise for Vathikuchi’s baddies as they spend a whole lot of time scheming and planning the perfect crime but can’t seem to apply it effectively in action, which serves all too well for the hero. As for the hero, he is shown to be quick-witted to emphasize that he’s not all brawn and that he possesses a good presence of mind that keeps him one step ahead of his foes. The elements that make up these sequences remind us that we are watching a full blown commercial fare.
For the most part Vathikuchi is fairly engaging with its interesting story line and with Kinslin assuming the role of the story, screenplay and dialogue writer apart from direction gives him full control over his narration and he doesn’t deviate too much from his duties. Stunts are the film’s mainstay and Rajasekhar has done a commendable job with the sequences. The action sequences are deftly captured by cinematographer R.B. Gurudhev who uses the ultra-slomo to good effect in the fights. Editors Praveen-Srikanth do their bit to ensure that the tempo and the intensity of the film is well maintained, even as it has to make room for the love track. The songs on screen may not exactly have the same color that the music emits but it stays well within the story and setting and Ghibran’s background score is effective at best.
To wrap it up, Vathikuchi has equal moments that will interest you as well as make you restless in your seat.