Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Real, rustic and rocking!
Vada Chennai is a tremendously engaging and exciting fare where nearly everything feels right. Vetrimaaran has given us a raw, world class gangster drama that will go down as a real epic.
Cast: Dhanush, Ameer, Aishwarya Rajesh, Andrea, Samuthirakani, Kishore, Daniel Balaji, Radha Ravi, Pavan, Pavel Navageethan & others
Music: Santhosh Narayanan (25th Film)
Editing: GB Venkatesh
Art Direction: Jacky
Stunts: Dilip Subbarayan
Written & Directed by: Vetrimaaran
Produced by: Dhanush’s Wunderbar Studios
Release Date: 17-10-2018
Run Time: 02:46:00
Even though he’s made only four films over the course of 11 years, Vetrimaaran is a highly celebrated filmmaker of our times. More so in his combination with Dhanush, who bravely makes a step out to the better side by shedding his heroic image with Vada Chennai. Together, the combo give us one of the best gangster films ever made in Indian cinema, it would not be easy to draw a parallel.
Prior to the release, Vetrimaaran had said that the script of Vada Chennai went on for 1000 pages, and that he needed three films to say it all. This large process requires a lot of give and take, along with the massive assembly of enticing characters with Dhanush at the center stage. Vetrimaaran could have easily gone for a toss with the narrative, but he maintains it at a watertight level with the intensity building up scene by scene. The beauty of Vada Chennai lies in how there’s not a single dragging moment despite the three-hour runtime and how the film stays true to it’s genre wholesomely. There’s also a fantastic sense of realism that Vetrimaaran adds to the frame, adding references to MGR, Rajiv Gandhi and Jayalalithaa too.
Dhanush is the one man who needs to be largely appreciated for his outing as both a producer and actor. The man has not only come up with a memorable performance, but it is also a terrific example to how actors should fit into their roles and get rid of the heroism. His scenes with Aishwarya Rajesh add the lighter moments to the film, while his combination scenes with the senior character actors add value to his acting chops. Aishwarya Rajesh gets a superb character too, with cuss words flowing at will. Andrea (despite her horrific dubbing), Kishore and Samuthrakani are all good in their own ways, but the real show stealer here is Ameer who surprises us in an important role. Being the heart of the film, he totally knocks his part out of the park.
Velraj’s camera captures localised yet rich visuals with a brownish red tone and skilful angles, while Santosh Narayanan’s music is a huge addition to the film in terms of it’s BGM and songs. Watch out for his terrific cues in the interval block and the climax. On the other side, the editing could have been a touch more fine-tuned, as some cuts are plain abrupt.
On the whole, Vada Chennai is a tremendously engaging and exciting fare where nearly everything feels right. Vetrimaaran has given us a raw, world class gangster drama that will go down as a real epic. Dhanush, Ameer, Aishwarya, Andrea, Samuthrakani, Kishore and everybody else in the cast have a strong and thumping character to essay. The dots are wonderfully joined by the end with some really lovable turns in the narrative. This is how films in this genre should be made.