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    1. #1
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      Aravind Krishnan's Avatar
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      Default Vadandhi: The Fable of Velonie

      Venue: Amazon Prime

      A fascinating web series which couldn't quite fulfil its potential, Vadandhi is a flawed, imperfect series which nonetheless leaves the viewer with a lot of questions and thoughts about today's society, what is right and wrong, and how judgemental everyone can be about things.

      The series starts off slow and hits top gear from Episodes 2-4 after SJ Suryah's entry. It then slows down at the mid-portion and picks up again in the last 2 episodes. The USP of the series is the title character herself, Velonie, who is played with the right level of mystique by Sanjana Krishnamoorthy. Her character is probably among the more fascinating ones in recent times, with the characterisation based purely on what others said and observed. How these stories add up to form an incomplete yet complex picture of the individual, is the highlight of the series. The character felt so alive even after her death was revealed in the very first episode. Laila got a crucial character but her performance was far from convincing. Nasser was excellent as the societal observer/narrator.

      SJ Suryah's earnest portrayal of SP Vivek is the second major asset. You feel sad for this man who becomes obsessed and eventually broken at the end of this case. Until about 7 and a half episodes in, where he enters Maanadu territory. The third reason why Vadandhi is worth a watch is the setting and cinematography, which pulls you into the surrounds and world of Kanyakumari. It was nice to see a different accent and novel geographical location rarely represented in Indian cinema. The score complements both the thrills of the series and also the playfulness of Velonie. SJS was well supported by Vivek Prasanna and Aruvi Balaji.

      The series really should have kept its focus on the events of the case and been tauter. There are too many distractions like the youngsters' IT Group, political issues, SJ Suryah's family life and wife and child who are expendable. The movie is too forceful in conveying its messages, and spends a little too long in depicting the very evils it rails against. The media as negative vultures obsessed about the character of its victims has been dwelt upon in too many films, and some of the series revelation methods, such as an actress not being a dead body, and nightmares of the dead woman's ghost have already been explored in previous films. Some of the dialogues and SJS's imaginary love for the dead person were unwanted. There's a conversation where SJS talks about how one woman died after he had rejected her earlier in the past. The message conveyed from that conversation was weird. There is too much time spent on developing red herrings and characters who end up not being suspects. The supporting cast is not as memorable as Suzhal in terms of characterisation.

      Nonetheless, Vadhandhi is one series that stays in the mind and not easily forgotten. Its major highlight is how a few words here and there, and omissions of events can paint an entirely different picture in the viewer's mind. The messy conclusion and ambiguity in the case verdict was also a highlight. In that respect, Vadandhi can be viewed a flawed and messy version of the Drishyam series.

      3.25/5
      Last edited by Aravind Krishnan; 26th January 2023 at 02:38 AM.

    2. #2
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      Sree's Avatar
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      kaananam

    3. #3
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      Ithu vannittu kure naalayallo. Ippolaano kaanunnathu?

      Sent from my ONEPLUS A6010 using Tapatalk

    4. #4
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      I loved this and towards the end there was a lag. But overall 3.5/5

    5. #5
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      Thx AK

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