Stills from Tamil film `Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga`.
Childhood friends Vasu (Santhanam) and Saravanan (Arya) are thick as thieves but Vasu’s newly-wed wife, Seema (Banu) doesn’t approve of Saravanan and wants her husband to break ties with him. So, Vasu tries to set up Saravanan with Aishwarya ( Tamannaah).
M Rajesh’s first three films were comedies about a good-for-nothing guy chasing a beautiful girl and managing to win her hand. He tried to move away from this formula in his previous film, the grossly misjudged Azhagu Raja, which ended up as something painfully unfunny. So, now, he has gone back to his tried-and-tested formula in Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga ( VSOP). What Rajesh has done is almost similar to what Sarkunam did in last week’s release Chandi Veeran — taking bits and pieces from his previous successful films and giving us a new film that feels familiar. The only difference is that he manages to succeed… to an extent.
VSOP has everything you expect in a Rajesh film — a stalker-ish hero, a heroine whose only requirement is to look pretty, sarakku, misogynist dialogues, bromance, and most importantly Santhanam. The comedian is more or less the second lead in this director’s films and that is true in VSOP as well. In fact, you could even call him the first lead here — not just because it is his character’s name that appears first in the title, but also because the plot revolves around his character. And Arya sportingly takes the backseat to let Santhanam take the centre stage in most of the scenes. And the actor doesn’t disappoint, and comes up with one wisecrack after another. Some of them hardly make us smile, while some are recycled from his previous ones, but a majority of them are funny and crack us up quite a bit.
The film actually takes a while to get going and the comedy in the initial scenes feels forced. It is only after Aishwarya enters the picture that the film starts to find its footing and the arc involving the friends trying to use her friend Kausalya (a competent Vidyullekha) as bait and the plan backfiring on them is very hilarious. The scene where Saravanan, Vasu and Aishwarya land up at Kauslaya’s doorstep in the middle of the night to insult her family is especially a stand-out moment. And the tendency of the film to never become too serious — even when Vasu and Saravanan split-up for a brief while — works in its favour. And bringing in a surprise guest star in the climax is a nice touch.
But the strong whiff of cliched scene set-ups (like getting Shakeela to play a female character who fights for men’s rights) is and redundant songs (Imman seems to have been on autopilot) leave us with a feeling of deja vu. In fact, the too many references that Rajesh uses (in terms of background score and dialogues) to get us smile only indicate laziness, an absence of originality, and even desperation. But the best thing is that he keeps things from becoming boring and the film ends up as a mild diversion.