Director: Rajeesh Bala
Cast: Vidharth, Chandni Tamilarasan, Kishore Kumar
Composer: Sooraj S Kurup
Rajeesh Bala’s Vandi progresses in a state of fits and starts. It begins to tell the story of a bike with a nameplate that is more prominent than the number plate. It says Duttu. Duttu is taken for a ride by a number of characters in the film, some we meet immediately and, some, we meet much later. Rajeesh Bala expects that we’ll come along with him for the ride, but he doesn’t make the proceedings engaging enough. The story is about three men caught in a maelstrom of problems that were completely avoidable – except for their penury. Krishna (Vidharth) cannot keep a job and it takes two acts of the film for him to realise that the father-daughter (Chandini Tamilarasan as Swathi)) duo that keep him and his roommates going are wonderful, empathetic people. Rafique (Kishore Kumar) works in a street food stall but is introduced as someone with a penchant for toilet exertions that double up as alarm clock for the neighbourhood. When it comes to scatological humour, Vandi keeps the scatology and disposes the humour.
The plot is essentially an adventure that is interconnected with the stories of several people associated with the bike but Rajeesh Bala struggles to build up tension. He uses exposition to fill in the parts and there is no sign of real direction or filmmaking. There is a nice bit of irony when Krishna gets a job as a collection agent at a small-time company, something he is desperate for so that he can not only pay rent but also return an expensive phone belonging to someone else that went missing under his watch. We see some neighbourhood goons arrive at Krishna’s place to threaten him and his friends into paying the rent. Now it is Krishna’s turn to go from house to house asking for the return of money. A bike is needed for Krishna’s job and a roommate arranges for one from the railway parking lot he works in. But in addition to a missing bike, there is the missing phone, rents to be paid, jobs to be kept and the three lives to go back on track. We are given a voice-over (by actor Siva) informing us of the legendary status of the bike. This is to get our hopes high but when we see the plot move, nothing is surprising or shocking. Or even lives up to all that legend.
Vandi needed to be far tighter, the events more interconnected than random throwing together of unrelated incidents. In the end, Vandi gives us an explanation of what each of the players in the film are up to. It’s like Rajeesh Bala had all these plots for different films and tried really hard to cram them all together in one film. This Vandi as a result is far from smooth.
The Vandi review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.