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Namma Veettu Pillai

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Namma Veettu Pillai Review: In Namma Veettu Pillai, Pandiraj follows the same formula that gave him blockbuster success in his previous film — Kadaikutty Singam. We have a large family set-up that requires a 10-minute exposition, as in the earlier film, delivered through the family’s patriarch, Arulmozhi Varman (Bharathirajaa, solid) to make us understand the various relationships and the conflicts.

As for the plot, though we are introduced to the families of Arulmozhi’s three sons and a daughter, it is centred around Arumpon (Sivakarthikeyan, likeable), the offspring of the (late) second son, Chandrabose (Samuthirakani, earnest as always). Arumpon dotes on his sister Thulasi (Aishwarya Rajesh, very effective) and wants to get her married. But the mystery over her heritage (which is revealed in the second half) results in him accepting to let her marry Ayyanar (Nataraj, in an underwritten role), a ruffian of sorts, with whom he is already at loggerheads. Will Ayyanar use this to get back at Arumpon? How low will the latter bend for the sake of his sister?

As a family drama, Namma Veettu Pillai is perfectly OK even though it offers us nothing new in terms of story or treatment. There are scenes that show the good and bad of having relatives. There are scenes to get us laughing (Soori and Anbukkarasu, the director’s own son, keep cracking one-liners that make us smile), and in the later half, scenes to make us shed tears. There is romance (the doll-like Anu Emmanuel plays Arumpon’s love interest). And we also get a speech (here, we get two) from the hero on the importance of family. The scenes do the job, but you can sense the calculations that must have gone into shaping them.

The director competently checks the boxes, and the film, while largely satisfactory, also gives us déjà vu on account of how recently we were treated to this same formula. It also doesn’t help that we had another, much-better drama — Sivappu Manjal Pachai — on the maman-machan conflict only a couple of weeks ago. Not to mention the fact that this story would have worked even without the extended family, which takes up most of the screen time, and seems to have been included solely because of the wonders such a set-up did for Kadaikutty Singam.

For a while, the mystery surrounding Thulasi keeps us guessing, but once we get that, the film moves along on predictable lines. The film manages to be amusing during the lighter scenes, but the emotional scenes lack punch. The writing, especially when it comes to the characters, feels surficial, with most of the effort largely spent on propping up the hero (we get the mandatory reference Rajinikanth reference, quips about politics. Even the annan-thangachi scenes lack depth. It is Imman’s score and songs (especially Un Koodave Porakkanum) that do the heavy lifting in these portions to make us care about these characters

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