Tamil Reviews

Rekka Review : Even Vijay Sethupathi’s Mass Popularity Cannot Lift This Film

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Rekka is what we get when Vijay Sethupathi does a Vijay film. Vijay Sethupathi has already had a golden run this year, with six successful releases. With Rekka, he does what he has never done before: act in a typical commercial potboiler. If anything, he turns the ‘mass’ up a notch higher.

Except, no matter how hard he tries, Vijay Sethupathi remains himself — grounded, natural, and relaxed. It’s everything the film isn’t.

*****

Vijay Sethupathi plays Siva, an ordinary man who practices law. His day job, though, is to ‘thookify‘ women from the altar when a wedding happens without their consent. He helps couples unite, even arranging a wedding for a 60-something couple who had been separated because of a family feud. In the midst of these heroics is the ‘Virru Virru’ song, tailor-made for the ‘mass’ hero. The song looks much like ‘Theradi Veedhiyil’ from Madhavan’s 2001 film Run, with dhavani– clad women eyeing Vijay Sethupathi coyly, against the backdrop of a hundred dancers.

It’s clearer than ever that Vijay Sethupathi hasn’t mastered his moves. Nobody’s complaining, though.

*****

During one such ‘lifting the bride’ endeavour, Siva has a run-in with David (Harish Uthaman) a cold-blooded don. Siva then has to thookify (literally) Barathi (Lakshmi Menon), a Madurai politician’s daughter. Barathi instantly falls in love with him, leading to a series of adventures.

Rekka is a mass film, and Vijay Sethupathi has never played a mass hero. Practically a superman here, his character sends goons flying into the air, shatters walls and glass panels with punches, and even has a dream sequence where he’s on an island, walking away from the heroine, who twirls around in one elaborate costume after another.

*****

You’d think Vijay Sethupathi would stick out, but you would be wrong. This amazing actor does weird, weird stunts and looks convincing. Rekka was preceded by Aandavan Kattalai, which was arguably Vijay Sethupathi’s best. Here, one audience member was moved to ask, “Do they even keep a camera in front of him, or do they do it all with hidden cameras? It doesn’t look like he is acting at all.”

In the midst of gravity defying stunts, Vijay Sethupathi remains himself, delivering dialogues casually. In one scene, David, like every stock villain, talks boastfully. Siva, with his characteristic nonchalance, replies, “Unaku oru advice sollata? Indha over build-up la illama naeraa vishayathukku vaa.” (Can I give you some advice? Please get to the point without too much build-up.)

*****

Rekka overflows with villains who are ready to burn down cities. It’s not too clear what motivates this rage. But Kumbakonam, Coimbatore, or Madurai: You name it, and the villains are there.

Meanwhile, Lakhmi Menon’s wide-eyed expression and permanent grin is reminiscent of a child who suddenly finds herself in Disneyland. She is so smitten with the hero that in one scene, she tells the goon holding her hostage to keep the knife on her throat. Why? So her hero’s fight looks more ‘massy’.

The audience love it.

In another scene, Vijay Sethupathi fends off villains while trying to elope with Lakshmi Menon. The camera pans to the name of the street – ‘Sethupathi theru‘. The audience love it some more.

*****

This is what the film looks like, hopping randomly from one ‘mass’ element to another, while a wafer-thin story trundles on.

It’s called Rekka perhaps because it gives ‘wings’ to an actor like Vijay Sethupathi, to fly into unexplored territory. But what really made him the hero with the masses was a film like Sethupathi, where his ‘mass’ was more subtle, more justified, and simply more him.

*****

The Rekka review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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