No doubt, Vivegam sees Ajith’s charisma lighting up the screen. And he is well presented as a mass hero with six-pack chiselled abs, walking with power-packed strides and all. However, frame after frame dedicated to hero-worship is quite an overdose. And if that is not enough, the villain too constantly reminds us of the hero’s sterling qualities. Director Siva seems to have unabashedly indulged the Ajith fan in himself but at the cost of the film. While the first half of the film proceeds at a decent pace, the second meanders on as there are fight sequences and then, even more fight sequences.
The story of Vivegam is simple. Ajay Kumar (Ajith) works for the Counter Terrorist Squad and is in hot pursuit of a lethal bomb all set to detonate in Delhi. Aryan Singh (Vivek Oberoi) is his friend and part of his team that includes multi-national operatives. He subsequently betrays him and from then on it’s Ajay Kumar – a one-man army – against shadow governments and various mafia in a battle for survival. With such a wafer thin narrative, the film naturally depends more on style than substance. So there’s plenty of technology happening; there are holograms, contact lenses that record and transmit, eyeball sensors, bio-metrics etc. But somewhere when this is not blended effectively enough with emotion, it loses soul. Concepts like shadow government, pace-maker and so on are clearly meant for the urban slicker and the film may not even be understood by rural and semi-urban audiences.
The moments where the film actually shines are some of the high voltage action sequences especially the thrilling bike and car chases. That said, the film does also manage some tender moments in the romantic scenes between Kajal Aggarwal and Ajith. The scene where she taps out love notes to him in Morse code is particularly heartwarming. On the performance side, however, Aggarwal is a big disappointment. She seems suffer from a hangover of all the silk sari commercials she has been doing of late and seems to focus more on modelling for them rather than emoting. Even in the most critical of situations, when she is fleeing from the villains, she looks freshly minted from the beauty parlor with not a hair out of place. And except for a few scenes, she has bland expressions and does not strike a chord with the audience at all.
In fact, Akshara Haasan is far more effective than Aggarwal. Though her role is minuscule, she makes a fair impression as an innocent woman inadvertently hacking into the code of a deadly bomb. Her mix of strength and vulnerability is credible, creating solid empathy for her character. Vivek Oberoi, alas, falls flat with deadpan expressions and zero energy making for a rather weak antagonist.
The camerawork by Vetri makes you fall in love with the breathtaking locales of Bulgaria. Music director Anirudh dazzles with some good pieces of music here and there but beyond that for the most part, the film is full of noise. In terms of editing, the film needed tighter storytelling to keep one engaged.
Overall, Vivegam is a film that is high on style and technology, but low on heart. And that is the film’s biggest failure.
Tamil, Action, Drama, Color
Nice Review Daya Kingston. 100% True..