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Tamil films of late have been disappointing barring a few gems. Films that hit a 100 crores or are hyped by certain fanboys are superflous and end up being unbearable after 1 viewing (sometimes not even close to hitting viewing, owing to how atrocious the 100 crore hyped film is. However, 60 Vayadu Maaniram is a diamond among-st the gems.
It also proves that director Radhamohan (with or without the ever-dependable Prakash Raj (who shares the producer title along with Dhanu)) continues to deliver his agmark stamp film. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja as always, delivers a stunning BGM and meaningful songs, something also missing in recent films by other stars/composers.
With a steady plot/screenplay (story courtesy of Hemanth Rao from Kannada blockbuster, Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu ), Radhamohan proves to be ever-dependable in not letting the actors go over the top and the cast nails it. The scenes speak more and lets the audience gulp and digest along without going into spoon-feeding mode. The gangster scenes featuring Samuthirakani may give off a typical gangster template B-story, but as the minutes unfold, the pieces of the puzzle with humanity as a situational comedy is played for laughs, love and sometimes sentiments. Watch out for scenes with Kumravel's confession, it's a scream!
One thing I'd like to make a point here is the comedy used in the film. A film like this could have become another tearjerker and over-melodramatic but the comedy injected courtesy of its subplot and the situational scenes featuring Kumuravel, Samuthirakani and Prakash Raj himself are top-notch. If you don't subject yourself to a chuckle or two and prefer to laugh at the tasteless Yogi Babu/Rajendran/Soori competing for loud buffoonery with talentless heroes like Sivakarthikeyan, STR, Aarya, Vishal, that's your loss. Big time.
Radhamohan is one director who personally can deliver humor and drama with smarts. Like the great late-K. Balachander, Radhamohan expertly knows how to have the drama reach a connect and highs with the viewer without being preachy. Scenes during Govindrajan's first love revelation, his god-fearing outburst during Samuthirakani's killing threat & the philosophy behind the white and black dogs stand-out! I must also add, this is Vikram Prabhu & Indhuja's best film till date. As for Prakash Raj, the front-and-center behind this magnificent remake, take a bow! It's truly a criminal loss that he is venturing to Politics as of this writing & I really hope he continues to give us more films across other Southern languages. I hope this gets seen by the Hindi/Telugu audiences. They seem to be receptive of such genres and films. Tamil audiences prefer to see a yawn-fest called 69 staring an now-celebrated hero who's dialogue delivery/mannerisms at this stage has reached a level of exhaustion and prods along because peanut gallery demands it.
It's disheartening to see great money-bag producers not back Radhamohan, who I believe is criminally underrated with his near-perfect direction and packaging isn't getting the fame and fortune he should be post MOZHI. Instead, the viewer wants to see the mass hero play to the gallery with over-played tropes, half-baked screenplays, mumbai imports who can't act/speak the language to save their lives but somehow hit a ton of money for producers. The same could be said for Prakash Raj's productions too. Here's a celebrated multi-versatile actor (on par with the late Raghuvaran, who not only puts his investments into quality cinema, but does not get his due. His hindi debut, TADKA awaits release and I really hope its now than later.)
Talent is slowly losing it's importance in Tamil Cinema while the Mass aura continues to be chased by a stampede of the Gen Z so-called current crop of heroes.
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