Varisu: Vijay’s endearing charm is comfort food for our minds

Varisu was in for a welcome surprise. It was clear to everyone from the trailer that the film is betting on its emotionality to win the affection of the audience. And that must have given many people second thoughts about the film. At the same time, when bigger guns and bigger explosions are considered essential elements for a movie to hit with larger audiences, what do you think of a movie that tends to evoke the emotions that are the lifeline of TV soap operas?

Of course, that was the time when such movies enjoyed a lot of push at the box office in Tamil cinema. Suryavamsam, Aanandham, Nattamai and Vaanathaippola to name a few – were popular films of the 1990s and early 2000s. And then Tamil cinema stopped making such fun, melodramatic family entertainers. Even Vijay rose to stardom and did his share of melodramas.

So it was understandable why Vijay chose a family drama like Varisu for the Pongal festival. Not just in Vijay’s career, some of the biggest hits in Dil Raju’s career (Bommarillu, Parugu, Mr. Perfect, Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu to name a few) as a producer were from this genre.

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Varisu proved the naysayers wrong by doing so many things right. And one of the biggest reasons for that is because it used the audience’s preconceived idea of ​​it to its advantage. Director Vamshi Paidipally and his writers Hari, Ashishor Solomon and lyricist Vivek are mindful of the changing times. They know they cannot make a film with the sensibility of Vaanathaippola, who takes himself too seriously.

The makers of Varisa have done a great job of remaking the old themes into a fun film. There’s a lot of familiarity, but the micro-additions to the old setup add up to something refreshing and satisfying. The themes and structure of the narrative are indebted to its predecessors in the genre. But the moment we get ready to cringe at a scene based on our assumptions about what happens next, thinking we’ve seen her act 100 times before, we’re surprised.

The name of the game is self-awareness. The film knows that if it takes itself too seriously, the audience would make fun of it. And Vijay walks the fine line of keeping the heavy emotions in the film light and light. When Vijay sings the title track of the popular Tamil serial Metti Oli, it immediately puts us at ease. It tells us that the filmmakers have a vision and they have the skills and knowledge to achieve it.

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Even the closing of the scenes is fluid. Take the scene where Vijay’s Kicha and Yogi Babu sit down to watch the drama unfold at the family dining table. While Vijay sits on the couch, Kicha sits on the floor. As they start chatting, Vijay gets down from the couch and sits next to Kicha. It shows that even though they are divided by their social status, they are united by their friendship. The relationship between the two hits home for us and we enjoy it when Kicha taunts Vijay time and again because this invisible social barrier is removed. Now it’s just two friends engaging in some fun banter.

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There is another shot of Vijay climbing down the stairs during an emotional scene. Before we see Vijay, we see his shadow as if he always watches over the family members like a guardian angel. The boardroom scene where Vijay is about to be voted out of his company is an unmistakable riff on the boardroom scene from Allu Arjun’s blockbuster. Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo. In that scene, Bantu pulls off a coup and upsets the villain’s game by dancing to popular songs from movies starring actors from Allu Arjun’s family. In the film’s meta-moment, Vijay generously refers to his previous blockbusters to prevent a similar coup.

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Vijay elevates the entire film with his unique charm. He unapologetically plays to the gallery scene after scene. And he constantly reminds us why we enjoy watching him. We enjoy his performance the most when he is making jokes. Not while you’re talking punchlines or performing stunts. We adore him when he is performing smooth dance moves and preaching to us about universally accepted morality. It is not the much celebrated folk number ‘Ranjithame’ but the grossly underrated duet ‘Jimikki Ponnu’ that steals the show. The song’s production and Vijay and Rashmika Mandanna’s energetic and classy performance leaves us wanting more.


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