Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Veetla Vishesham Movie Review : RJ Balaji’s Veetla Vishesham is a competently made remake of Badhaai Ho
The plot revolves around an ordinary middle-class family: Unnikrishnan (Sathyara), a railways employee, his home maker wife Krishnaveni (Urvashi), their two sons — Ilango (RJ Balaji), a 20-something biology teacher, and Anirudh (Visvesh), who is in high school, and his elderly mother Ammulu (KPAC Lalitha). Despite their modest means, Unni and Krishnaveni are a loving couple, and following one intimate night, realise that latter has gotten pregnant. Krishnaveni decides to have the baby, however, they are more about how the society around them is going to react to this news, especially their two sons. Will Ilango and Anirudh be able to come to terms with this fact and embrace their parents’ decision?
Given that Badhaai Ho was backed by strong writing, RJ Balaji and team here stay close to the original, making only minor changes to the material that add a local flavour to this universal story. Some of the changes, like making Ilango’s profession, work. That a seemingly progressive biology teacher, who is keen to on his students getting sex education, isn’t able to cope with the fact that his parents might be having an active sex life, puts across the irony of his situation and the double-standards in the society better. Even the addition of an angle about women having the right to choose between a normal and a cesarean delivery seems well-intentioned, though the makers here choose a somewhat over-the-top humourous tone (over a heartfelt moment) to deliver this ‘message’. The film also wins us over with its genuine progressive outlook.
In fact, the entire film has a slightly louder tone compared to the original’s. While this doesn’t detract its effectiveness or the points it wants to make, it still leaves us with a could-have-been-better feeling in some places. The performances, too, don’t rank as high as what we got in Badhaai Ho. While Urvashi pulls her role off with elan, some of the humour with Sathyaraj, like his hobby of doing short videos, have a certain affectedness. The late KPAC Lalitha delivers a strong performance, too. But RJ Balaji, while effective in the humorous scenes — a scene in which he makes his girlfriend Sowmya (Aparna Balamurali) get in secretly into his flat is quite hilarious — falls short in the emotional moments, like in the scene in which he confronts Sowmya’s mother and stands up for his parents. He delivers this speech even a he sways a little this way and that, and this body language is distracting and lessens the emotional impact of the scene.
But to Balaji and Saravanan’s credit, these shortcomings are rather minor. And the duo manages to smoothen out these wrinkles with help from Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s emotive score that elevates the emotions in the dramatic scenes.