The gambling sequence is definitely a good one. More than him gambling itself, I liked the payoff. The character dynamic it illustrates with his wife is a fantastic bit if writing where we are made aware of what his wife thinks of him and what his arc is without even a single line of exposition. Masterful writing there.
And yes it reminded me of Vedam. Cable Raju stealing that money is him at his lowest and him returning it is one of the most cathartic moments in any film ever. The old man bellowing that "God exists" and "their boy would study" and the camera's slow reveal of Raju in tears broke me to pieces. That is masterfully written, directed, acted, paced and scored. The emotional payoff is spectacular.
Please don't let the overanalyses and needlessly complicated words fool you - the homo-sapiens writing these reviews are people too. We whistle when Super Star Rajni's name comes up on the silver screen, we begrudgingly laugh at poorly constructed toilet humour, and we want our favourite actors and directors to make good movies. And we have seen many an actor who captured our imagination fade into oblivion as time has gone by.
As much as it hurts us to say it, the very personable Natural Star was headed that last way too. Middle Class Abbayi? Nenu Local? Really? Were we about to....