Director: Gaurav Narayanan
Cast: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Manjima Mohan, Soori, Daniel Balaji and RK Suresh
Ippadai Vellum, for most part, shines due to its writing and that’s what makes it a thriller which is a cut above most films in the similar space. Instead of merely entertaining the audiences, which has been the norm with most films lately, Ippadai Vellum makes them think and that’s where Gaurav Narayanan, who wants to be taken seriously, shines as a filmmaker.
You want to take the film seriously because it treats its audience seriously. Gaurav introduces us to a hero who believes in brain over brawn. In his introduction scene, Udhay is seen running in slow motion and as the camera zooms out, we see that he’s being chased by a group of men. A commercial cinema hero would have taken the action route but we get a hero who outsmarts the bad guys with his brain. We also get a villain who doesn’t stop until his mission is accomplished. Daniel Balaji gets a better opening sequence than Udhay but we understand why the former’s introduction needed to be stronger.
It’s a tailor-made role for Udhay, who is an actor with no star trappings and hence looks believable in his part. It’s easier to empathize with his situation because he’s an actor with no image. For the first time in a long time, Soori isn’t irritating in a role and his comedy seamlessly flows with the narrative. The way both Udhay and Soori get embroiled in a situation and brought together by fate is one of the smart stretches of the film. Their union paves way to a few comic scenes and luckily they don’t go overboard for the sake of entertainment. Manjima Mohan, who isn’t reduced to look just pretty on screen, has decent contribution to make to the overall story.
Gaurav whips up a racy thriller and gives us character with strong emotional arcs to root for. The story unfolds within the span of a few days and build up to the climax is worth every buck. The whole brain over brawn angle works quite well in the favour of the film.