Directed by Gautam Menon
At a point in Vettaiyadu Vilayadu (The Hunt) when DCP Raghavan (Kamalahaasan) realises that his wife Kayalvizhi (Kamalini Mukherjee) is dead, the character does not offer the trademark Kamal reaction: the famous Nayakan howl. Throughout the film, Kamal’s Raghavan is a class act: subdued, rarely venting emotions. He is, after all, the hardened but honest cop who lets the law take his course to avenge the murders of those dear to him. As the tagline proclaims: ‘Another episode in a police officer’s life’, Vettaiyadu is a sequel to Kaakha-Kaakha (The Protector), director Gautam Menon’s earlier film that justified and glorified encounter killings.
In Vettaiyadu, Menon has a story to tell. What appears to be a vengeful rape-cum-murder of Raghavan’s colleague Arokiaraj’s daughter in Keeranur near Madurai leads Raghavan on a trail to New York. A psychopathic serial killer (played with the thorough self-consciousness of a TV amateur by Daniel Balaji) executes his victims, mostly women who have spurned him and his friend, with surgical precision. A large part of the story unfolds in NY where Raghavan hunts down the suspects with the help of nypd and fbi. Menon lets cameraperson Ravivarman pack too many picture postcards of NY. Raghavan’s accidental meeting with Aradhana (Jyothika) and their falling in love are handled with maturity and grace. In Tamil filmdom, heroes are rarely middle-aged; it’s rarer still for a widower-hero to fall in love with a woman who has just separated from her husband.
Vettaiyadu falters in its insistence on songs (that actors are forced to lip-sync); speed-breakers that stretch the film to the mandatory 2 hr 55 minutes. More tasteless is Menon’s pandering to stereotypes of sexual orientation and gender roles. A case in point: the use of a transvestite as part of the unofficial police manual’s custody torture. Menon also is not content to gently indicate the potential homoerotic relationship between the psychopath and his partner-in-crime; macho Raghavan links the serial killers’ villainy to their homosexuality, and the audience hoots, claps. Indian cinema does not indulge subtlety. With our penchant for drama, we may never see taut police procedurals. We have to settle for Vettaiyadu.
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Courtesy: Film Information