Story & Narration
Technical Aspects and Music
A clever, interesting investigative thriller!
Vellai Pookal is a competent investigative drive that will keep you pinned until you get to the final answer. It may not be path breaking, but it is definitely worth your time at the theater.
Cast: Vivek, Charlie, Pooja Devariya, Dev, Paige Henderson and others
Music – Ramgopal Krishnaraju
Cinematography: Jerald Peter
Editing: Praveen KL
PRO: Nikkil Murugan
Director: Vivek Elangovan
Producers: Dhigha Sekaran, Varun, Ajay Sampath
Release Date: 19-04-2019
Run Time: 02:02:00
Debutant director Vivek Elangovan writes and directs a fairly engaging investigative thriller with this week’s release Vellai Pookal. The film, despite its moderate pacing, makes use of some really nice and inventive tropes to bring about its storyline, and keeps the viewer guessing until the very end where the tables are turned.
Vellai Pookal brings you a lot of things which aren’t usual in Tamil cinema, and the first of the lot would be the idea to have Vivek in the lead role. This is the film’s USP, and it works out very well for the fact that the actor understands the role and plays it right. After so many years as a comedian, it’s refreshing to see Vivek do things such as breaking down clues, chasing criminals and playing it smart on the whole. With the film entirely being set in the USA, it takes a little time for the audience to connect with the proceedings, and place a finger on the suspects as the story progresses. The first half of the film takes its time in giving the viewer enough space to set into the milieu, without rushing things. It is only closer to the interval that the film picks up, and then slides into a better second half that progresses with an interesting series of events. The final stretch of the film is its biggest plus, as the unexpected climax twist comes into play and surprises in full. It is this portion of the film that elevates the end product, making it a rewarding guessing game.
Apart from Vivek, the rest of the cast including Dev, Pooja Devaraiya and the others fit well into the film. Charlie’s role is something that falls into the walls of a sidekick, and he does it neatly without affecting the actual structure of the film. With a good load of foreign actors, it is slightly tough to follow at first, but director Vivek ensures that the audience get comfortable as he progresses deeper into the storyline.
While it is a technically neat film, Vellai Pookal could have done with some more work on paper, as it would have been way better if the investigative episodes held a better amount of pulp. However, avoiding usual commercial compromises, the narrative techniques that have been put to use here such as a mind voice skit and the tricky clues make up for the humps. Toting up, Vellai Pookal is a competent investigative drive that will keep you pinned until you get to the final answer. It may not be path breaking, but it is definitely worth your time at the theater.