Vivegam review: This Ajith vehicle can give you a headache

Release Date: 24 Aug 2017

Cinestaan Rating

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Manigandan KR

Some of the sequences are aimed purely at glorifying Ajith's character and come across as unrealistic and exaggerated.

Vivegam, actor Ajith's film with director Siva, is an action extravaganza that revolves around a global counter-terrorism squad that tries to kill one of its own.

The film begins with an action sequence in which Ajay Kumar (Ajith), a trained military expert, gets hold of a device that governments across the globe are seeking access to. The man gets into a heavily fortified camp with three tiers of security (don't ask how) and gains access to the device after shooting dead one of Europol's senior officers.

The counter-terrorism squad or CTS, the global organization that looks to neutralize terror threats across the world, wonders who this man is who went past such tight security to get his hands on such a sought after device. They send his pictures to their best agents in the hope that one of them will be able to identify him.

All of them identify him as the best in business, and one of their own. In other words, they identify him as a field officer of the CTS. And they are surprised that he is alive, because they believed they had killed him during their last assignment.

A flashback of the last assignment begins and we are told that AK is the best hitman in the CTS. He is part of a specialized five-member team, one of the members of which happens to be Aryan (Vivek Oberoi), chief strategist for India.

The last known mission of AK was to track Natasha (Akshara Haasan), a cyber hacker who had helped terrorists to gain access to the passwords to set off three powerful plutonium weapons, which, when detonated underground, can cause the same impact as a major earthquake. While one weapon has gone off, the other two remain hidden somewhere in India. 

By the time the flashback ends, we get to know that AK has tracked Natasha down and gained her confidence. However, she gets shot and before he realizes what is happening, AK finds that he has been stabbed in the back. He finds his own team members looking to kill him. They succeed, or at least that is what they think.

Now, the man has come back and is looking to settle scores with a gang he once considered his team. Ajay Kumar will now not only have to fight an elite counter-terrorism squad that once trained with him and has the backing of over 80 governments in the world, he will also have to do so while defending his pregnant wife, Yazhini (Kajal Aggarwal). Who will win this battle? Why did the team choose to kill one of its own? Vivegam gives you the answers...

The film has so many action sequences that you are bound to get a headache after a while. Sometimes you feel that director Siva, in his eagerness to please Ajith fans, just went overboard. The several action sequences, most of which are exaggerated, do more harm than good to the characterization of AK. For instance, the first action sequence has Ajith delivering punchlines when he has almost an entire regiment pointing guns at him! As always, not one bullet of an entire army of trained gunmen finds its mark while every shot Ajith fires takes down a person from the opposite camp!

The punchlines, too, are as frequent as the action sequences. In fact, Ajith delivers a punchline at every opportunity. And it is not just him. Everybody in the film, from Akshara Haasan, who appears for about 15 minutes, to Kajal Aggarwal to Vivek Oberoi delivers punchlines! There are so many punchlines that one feels tempted to even call this a punch padam!

A lot of technical names and gadgets have been thrown in to give the film an authentic international look and feel. But to be honest, that doesn't do the trick. It only makes the plot sound cumbersome and unconvincing.

Not everything about the action sequences is bad though. Some are fantastic and the effort that Ajith and the team have put in shows. For instance, the chase sequence in which Ajith tries to rescue Akshara Haasan is just too good. The fight that follows after her death is equally well shot. Talking of shots, cinematographer Vetri deserves special mention for the fantastic manner in which he has captured the story through his lens. Every scene is a painting, making it hard to take your eyes off the screen.

Anirudh's music and background score breathe life into the film. His romantic numbers, in particular, lift your mood and tug at your heartstrings.

Siva's direction is good in parts. There are sequences which really deserve appreciation. But, unfortunately, there are also sequences that can put you to sleep. All the actors come up with reasonably good performances. But then, all of them are established stars and this was only expected of them. On the whole, Vivegam is good enough to be watched once.