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Vivekam Review

Josh /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
What can't Ajith Kumar do? Well, nothing much, apparently.

In the 7 hours 9 minutes of Vivekam's runtime (it's all lies on Google and the censor certificate - the true runtime can only be confirmed through experiencing it), Ajith Kumar (as Ajay Kumar aka AK) writes, talks, predicts, races, kills, cooks (please pay attention to the commas - we are not saying that he writes talks or predicts races or kills cooks), and saves the world. If that doesn't impress you, we'll tell you in more detail.

He stands in the middle of a road atop a dam flanked by about a hundred members of a militia. And there are about four helicopters buzzing around. Everyone is armed. If it were any of us, we'd raise our hands and beg for mercy. If it were James Bond or Ethan Hunt, they'd dutifully execute the thrilling stunt sequence carefully designed by the action choreographer and director. But since this is Thalai Ajith and he has a goner called Siva directing him, he first delivers a motivational speech to the camera on how not to give up, and then precisely demonstrates how to give up on one's life altogether. This he achieves by jumping off the dam while being subject to a torrent of gunfire all of which goes around him even if he is in about a thousand separate lines of fire.

If you get a faint idea of what we are talking about, we'll continue to list some other implausible to impossible feats Ajith Kumar achieves in the 7-hour... uh, you get the point.

AK lives in Serbia/Slovenia/Bulgaria - okay, basically some non-Indian area. He is some sort of a chief agent in a counter-terrorism squad which is some sort of an Indian-run international strategic organisation, where he writes a book on how to track anyone at all on the planet. He manages to be friends with Vivek Oberoi and a white man and a black man and a Russian woman even though each one of them speaks terrible dubbed and accented Telugu. He goes back home and cooks at his wife's restaurant.

Subject to some treacherously lame treachery, he falls from a green-ish hill and lands in snow-filled plains where he survives for long periods solely by breaking tree trunks and doing push-ups while composer Anirudh Ravichandar tears away a few hundred guitars' strings and cinematographer Vetri successfully accomplishes a Revenant-like aesthetic. After finishing off with Revenant Ajith Kumar returns to Mission Impossible and 3D holograms where he seeks to avenge his treachery while saving New Delhi.

There's one more thing he can do. He can sell all this bunkum. In Tamil Nadu at least.

Moving on.

What does Kajal Agarwal do? Well, nothing much, apparently.

She is supposed to be running a restaurant called Theta Telugu (we remind you to not confuse it with theeta Telugu) Bhojanasala, where a bunch of white people are furiously ordering idli and dosa. The reason we say she does nothing is she's so useless at it that her husband has to come and save the day by managing the place for her when she's unable to run it herself. And she teaches Sri Sri poems of concentrated communism to white kids in a villa-like house in Serbia/Slovenia/Bulgaria - you know, a non-Indian area. We'll give you a moment to slap yourself out of this ethno-centric wet dream.

The one thing she does and possibly the only thing she does is to love and admire and worship her husband. And get pregnant. And be available to be targeted by the villain and protected by the husband.


What can Vivek Oberoi do? Well, nothing much. Apparently.

In the 7-hour-9-minute runtime of Vivekam, Vivek Oberoi is present in about 12 hours and 23 minutes. Which is not to say he is all over the film (the film is too busy rubbing itself all over with Ajith Kumar) - he merely makes his portions that much more dull and boring. He is also hands down the least self-respecting villain in recent times. He keeps harping about AK's capabilities and singing paeans like he's some washed-out north-Indian actor without any roles in Bollywood fawning over a south-Indian star hoping to get a couple more south-Indian assignments. Oh...

And, then.

What should director Siva do? Well, nothing at all. Hopefully.

We'd all be better off if he did nothing for a while and meditated on how lousy a film Vivekam is. And we'd be further grateful if he gains the remotest insight into how he's not made an intelligent spy thriller but rather mechanically replicated great visuals and ruined Anirudh's track record and Ajith's general credibility.

What do we do? Not watch Vivekam, certainly.

As alternatives on what to do, we offer you some suggestions:

1. If you want to enjoy yourself, get to Necklace Road when it rains in the evening and walk around.
2. If you understand Tamil, watch Blue Sattai Uncle's review of Vivegam on Youtube.
3. If you are still itching to watch Vivekam, take a deep breath and calm down. And see a counsellor.

It isn't entirely irredeemable. You'll surely enjoy Vivekam if you are in a coma where you can only process visual and auditory sensations but no cognitive functioning. Or if you are a die-hard fan.
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Vivekam (telugu) reviews
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  • Cast
    Ajith Kumar, Vivek Oberoi, Kajal Aggarwal, Akshara Haasan, Aarav Chowdhary, Karunakaran, Amila Terzimehic, Serge Crozon-Cazin, Bharath Reddy, Sharat Saxena, Swaminathan, Milan
  • Music
    Anirudh Ravichandar
  • Director
    Sivakumar Jayakumar
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
The Common Movie Goer on 26th Aug 2017, 11:42pm | Permalink
How do you guys speak so any languages? Also, I think Vijay copies Mahesh too much. The only Tamil actor I love, and whose appeal I understand, is Superstar Thalaiva.
TJ Reddy on 26th Aug 2017, 5:41pm | Permalink
Ah the most effective way to describe almost every ambition-free "mass" movie! Loved reading this dude.
Josh on 26th Aug 2017, 7:26pm | Permalink
Thanks, dude :)

I'd always been clear that I appreciate Ajith as a person and an actor. Vijay and his films (with peeping into bathrooms and stuff) appeared too crass to me.

But in the recent times, when I finally got around to watching their movies in theatre, I just couldn't see why Ajith films are hits. Aarambam, Veeram, and Vedhalam (to a lesser extent) are all dull films. They just don't have enough writing to pull off a solid high stakes mass scene.

Whereas Vijay absolutely surprised me with Thuppakki. Then I loved Kaththi. More recently Theri, while being manipulative and templatey, still had some goosebump scenes.

I wonder how these heroes process scripts. Can't Ajith tell that something is just a bad scene? And when did Vijay discover subtlety and subdued ass kicking?
TJ Reddy on 26th Aug 2017, 8:29pm | Permalink
My best guess is the choice of filmmaker helming their projects. While Vijay has been working with Murugadoss and Atlee en route to producing at least passable work, Ajith's last film with a decent director after 2010's Mankatha is Yennai Arindhal with GVM.

The proof is right there. I miss Ajith: the risk taking maverick of an actor.
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