The title phrase Vinodhaya Sitham seemed familiar when I heard it first but, could not place it immediately. Then it dawned upon me that Vinodaya Chittam is a phrase in the Sanskrit shloka – ‘Bhaja Govindam’. But here, the title Vinodhaya Sitham meaning “Strange desire/will” in Tamil is based upon a Tamil play with the same title. Director Samudrakani dusts the subject, makes it more contemporary and adapts it to the big screen deftly. This film joins the club of films like Mandela, K.D etc. and comes as a whiff of fresh air in Tamil cinema which eternally has been suffering from the “Maaassss” syndrome!
The film’s subject is different and interesting. It revolves around a head strong, egoistic and self- righteous head of the family, in short a “Prestige Parasumaran”, who believes that he is a manager at work and at home. The story is about how he is finally shown the mirror and transformed for the good. What is so different and interesting in that boiler plate story line is the treatment and how it’s done. Kudos to the original writer of the play Sreevathson to have come up with such a unique plot in the 1st place.
Thambi Ramaiah is the main protagonist. It’s not often that in Tamil movies you don’t have a hero playing the main role and a character artist like Ramaiah gets a chance to do that. He clutches the opportunity with both his hands and delivers a very competent performance. At times, he reminds me of Radharavi in his dialogue delivery but comes across as a better actor than him. The way his body language morphs based on the scene is a delight to watch (That scene when he is told that he will be made the MD, for example). Director Samudrakani himself plays the supporting role of Yamadoot (Kaalathoothan) and is also outstanding with his poker faced but sharp interjections now and then.
Writing is sharp and brilliant and some of the best lines that are also laugh out loud moments are obviously reserved for the Yamadoot! (Neenga Customer’a? Illa, Naan Customer Care!) The background score plays an able foil to the setting and the screen play.
Towards the end, the film gets predictable and also drags a bit. You can also sense a bit of preachiness. But these are small issues in an otherwise engaging film.
If the title Vinodhaya Sitham is poetic, the film is about delivering poetic justice. It’s a film ideally suited for the OTT platform. I would it put in “Must Watch” category for the different treatment. It’s on Zee5.