Director Vijay is known to complete his films quickly. He makes cost-effective productions and doesn't stretch his budgets. Lakshmi is his second release this year, after Diya, which came out a few months ago.
Plot: As made clear by the promos, Lakshmi is a dance film that sees kids take the center stage, while the adults play their mentors. It is centered around a national-level children's dance competition in Mumbai, for which Prabhu Deva eventually begins coaching the children. This is a typical tale of underdogs triumphing against all odds.
The children are the heart and soul of the film, with dance skills that will make your jaws drop. Credit to director Vijay and the choreographers for showcasing these children in the best light. The second half has some riveting dance scenes. Along with Ditya (playing the titular character Lakshmi), the child playing Arnold also makes an impression. The sequence in which he proves that his obesity doesn't get in the way of his dancing is superb.
Composer Sam CS gleefully accepts the opportunity to score for a dance film and delivers peppy tracks like 'Morrakka'.
Though the film doesn't really tap into Prabhu Deva's comedic timing, it includes a special dance segment in the first half for his loyal fans. PD, Sam CS and the choreographer make it a memorable scene.
The film doesn't go beyond being a typical underdog movie. Its plot points are either convenient, or extremely predictable (an accident, a physical limitation) to add melodrama to the proceedings.
Though Ditya makes you root for her in the climax, the over the top (and sometimes unintentionally funny) nature of the sequence is too obvious to overlook.
The talented Kovai Sarala keeps getting typecast as the loud, unabashed comedienne. It must be quite an effort for her to repeat her shtick in film after film.
Director Vijay hasn't utilised the acting talent (Prabhu Deva, Aishwarya Rajesh, Karunakaran) at his disposal. The kid-centric nature of the film also limits these actors.
Final word: The kids and their magical dance moves are the saving grace of the film, which is otherwise highly predictable. You can watch it for them.