Vaanam Kottatum opens with a wide shot of a young Selvam (Master Raghavan) trying to hold a goat as he sees his uncle Velsamy (Balaji Sakthivel) approach him with a sickle pierced into his back.
Little Selvam runs to tell his dad Bose (Sarathkumar), and in a fit of rage Bose kills those (who? We’ll keep the mystery alive for a while) who attacked his brother Velsamy. He ends up in jail leaving his wife Chandra (Radikaa) and children Selvam (the older version essayed by Vikram Prabhu) and Mangai (Aishwarya Rajesh) to fend for themselves.
Dhana Sekaran’s Vaanam Kottatum packs a lot of intensity in the first five minutes of the story and as we get ready to witness a family drama with a revenge angle, we are forced to buy into the film’s predictability.
Let’s face it. The story is as old as the hills and the entire film solely depends on the film’s screenplay. When Bose is released from jail, it changes everyone’s life. Dhana Sekaran could have explored the internal conflicts that arise in the family, but he takes the safe route by focusing on the revenge drama that is so stale.
The emotional equation Selvam and Mangai share with their uncle Velsamy is adorable to watch. So is Radikaa and Sarathkumar’s love for each other in Vaanam Kottatum. Still, the film meanders a lot, courtesy the director’s idea to incorporate so many characters which do not add anything to the story.
For example, Madonna Sebastian’s role doesn’t evoke any sense of emotion and the story would remain the same without her character. Same is the case with Amitash Pradhan’s role. Vaanam Kottatum had all the potential to be a moving family drama, but the film fails to engage you during the emotional moments. This is the biggest downfall of Vaanam Kottatum.
Sometimes, casual sexism peeks in when a character says Bungalow veetu ponnunga vela aaganum na eee nu solluveenga (Girls living in bungalow would smile to get their work done). Dialogues like these could have been avoided.
Sarathkumar’s acting in the scene where he realises that he could not keep up with the changing trends was endearing to watch. Credit goes to Dhana Sekaran for extracting finest performances from Vikram Prabhu, Aishwarya Rajesh, Madonna Sebastian, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and Amitash Pradhan.
Sid Sriram’s music was top-notch, but, in a few places, it felt like the songs were too urban for a film that is set in a village. As much as Kanne Thangam is brilliant to listen to, the song is played too many times till it starts to bore you.
Overall, Vaanam Kottatum could have been a solid family drama, but it gets a pedantic treatment that takes away from the film rather than making it more engaging.
2.5 stars out of 5 for Vaanam Kottatum.
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