Considering he returned to the silver screen after a gap of more than two years, Vikram’s choice of doing a film like Bheemaa is all the more disappointing. The film has little freshness in terms of subject matter and, unfortunately, is unable to rise above its material in terms of cinematic treatment and style as well. The problem with the film is not just its weak script but for all the lavish mounting and high level of A1 technical support, Bheemaa lacks innovation. When one is handicapped with a script, not quite there, it’s a bigger challenge for the filmmaker to use his cinematic craft to rise above the script. Director N Lingusamy fails and fails big time here.
Bheemaa looks at Sekar (Vikram) who has always worshipped Chinna (Prakash Raj), a kind-hearted goon, from childhood. Sekar wins his way to Chinna’s gang and soon becomes his chief aide. With Sekar by his side, Chinna’s gang takes over the city at the cost of the gang run by a man (Raghuvaran), whom Chinna worked for earlier. Meanwhile, Sekar falls in love with a college girl, Shalu (Trisha), and decides to leave the world of crime. Chinna agrees and wishes him well. A new Police Commissioner (Ashish Vidyarthy) is appointed and he instructs his men with shoot at sight orders towards criminals in his bid to clean up the city naming the operation, Bheemaa. Feeling weaker without Sekar, the gang force a reluctant Chinna to come to Sekar’s house to convince him to return, telling Chinna that he should just be present there, they will convince Sekar. Even as Chinna waits outside, inside his man is unable to convince Sekar to return. Blaming Shalu for Sekar leaving them, he shoots her dead…
It has to be said the film begins interestingly enough as Sekar wins his way into Chinna’s gang but thereafter, sadly, it settles into standard, bloody fare of a tale of the underworld and rival gang warfare. It is only in the climax the film picks up and admittedly, picks up majorly as it shocks you into silence with the unexpected twists and turns but by then it is much too little, much too late. That the romantic track, which leads to the finale, is considered a necessity evil and little else in the film doesn’t help either. The developing romance between Vikram and Trisha is treated in an ever-so-matter-of-fact manner without any nice moments and the scenes of Vikram in love are more silly in tone rather than cute, except perhaps the sequence where he is bursting soap bubbles blown by a little child. I suppose one has to be thankful that the film does not have the typical external comedy track but that’s not really saying much as the film fails to stay with you, once over.
You cannot really find fault with the two central performances of Vikram and Prakash Raj, though. Vikram reaffirms what a fine actor he is and what commanding screen presence he commands as he handles every scene with conviction. However, his age does catch up with him in some of the action sequence as we see him struggling to be as mobile and flexible as his character should be. Otherwise, he is spot on as the obsessively loyal henchman of a man he has worshipped since childhood. Prakash Raj is an expert in roles like this of the goon with the heart of gold and sails through effortlessly with a fine performance. Trisha, however, suffers from a sketchily written role and cannot do anything much with it. On top of that her character appears stupid and senseless to fall in love with a man who fell over her in the dead of night, leaving behind a gun and she continues to pursue him knowing he is a thug! Raghuvaran in his last major role as head of the rival gang is simply awful as he hams like there’s no tomorrow while Ashish Vidyarthy is so-so as the new Police Commissioner who is willing to do whatever it takes to clean up the city.
Technically, RD Rajasekar’s fine cinematography deserves a special mention, certainly lifting the film a notch or two; Anthony strives to keep up the pace and tempo of the film right through while Harris Jayaraj’s musical score is catchy enough but let down by some badly placed and unimaginatively picturised songs. The songs that come through best are the one establishing Vikram’s lifestyle and the final romantic song with Trisha and Vikram as he takes her to his house. The action scenes, though well executed, are old fashioned, unbelievable, and little more than Vikram bashing up 20 men at a time like the heroes of yore.
All in all, Bheemaa is highly disappointing in spite of Vikram and Prakash Raj’s fine acts.
Tamil, Action, Drama, Color