Chennai, 20 Jun 2022 18:54 IST
At a time when big-budget action flicks are ruling the roost, it feels nice to sit through a breezy story of a family coming together to deal with an unexpected situation.
When the Tamil remake of Badhaai Ho (2018) was announced, there was very little excitement in the air as most felt it wouldn’t work. Most were wondering who could recreate the magic of Neena Gupta and Gajraj Rao in Tamil and if the remake could even be half as funny as the original.
Veetla Vishesham (2022), which is probably one of the best remakes in recent times, puts all these doubts to rest as the film manages to work beautifully and even supersede the original in quite a few instances. The film manages to hit all the sweet spots and ends up being thoroughly entertaining.
RJ Balaji plays Ilango, who is shocked to learn that his parents (Urvashi and Sathyaraj, a terrific duo) who are in their 50s are expecting their third child. He struggles to come to terms with the news of his mother being pregnant and it affects his relationship with his girlfriend Sowmya, played by Aparna.
The rest of the story is about how Ilango, his younger brother and their grandmother prepare themselves to welcome a new family member.
One of the best things about Veetla Vishesham is that the film never tries to recreate the original scene by scene. As much as it’s a remake, you can sense that a lot of effort has gone into the writing, especially the humour and dramatic bits to suit the local sensibilities. If it was a game of tombola in the original, it’s a chit-fund scheme involving some women in the remake. Another reason why Veetla Vishesham works as effectively as the original is because of the casting, which is on point.
Both Urvashi and Sathyaraj's performances stand out because they own the characters and play them in their own way instead of copying every reaction and expression. It would have been nearly impossible for anyone else to have played these characters as beautifully and convincingly as these veterans. RJ Balaji, who has always been aware of his acting limitations, takes a backseat and allows the senior actors to shine and hog the limelight.
It was so refreshing to see Sathyaraj in a role that extracts a very natural performance from him. The ever-dependable Urvashi is effortless as the mother and her scenes with Sathyaraj are some of the highlights of the film. KPAC Lalitha as the grandmother is another interesting casting choice and she’s brilliant in the few scenes where the spotlight is on her. The story is set in a railway quarters and the writing reflects in the way the scenes involving the neighbours play out.
Veetla Vishesham is one of the better films to come out of Tamil cinema this year. At a time when audiences are rooting for big-budget action flicks such as RRR and KGF: Chapter 2, it feels nice to sit through a breezy story of a family coming together to deal with a very unexpected situation.
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