Cast: Vijay Karan, Manisha Jith, Ganja Karuppu
Bharathi (an out-of-place Vijay Karan) loves to save people. As a kid, he saved an unsuspecting lady from chain snatchers, which in turn leads her to adopting him. A little later, he saves Vannakili (Manisha Jith) when she gets buried under a land slide. Much later, after the two grow up, Bharathi saves Vannakili again, this time from a speeding bus. But he’s not done yet. He also saves Vannakili’s father from caste fanatics, when he just happens to find him being attacked, when he just happens to be riding his bike.
One only wishes he’d put in some sort of effort to save this film as well. Vannakili Bharathi is another pamphlet against caste violence where another inter-caste couple gets caught between caste politics and its proponents. Bharathi disguises his caste identity when he falls in love with Vannakili. Even though she’s ok with it, her father just cannot get around the idea of his daughter falling for someone from a lower caste. The message of course is important as ever but there’s nothing we don’t already know about what this film has to say. When that’s the case, the only thing that matters is if we feel for the characters like we did with Kadhal (the hero here is a mechanic too) but there’s absolutely no filmmaking for that to happen. Every shot is borrowed and the film plays out at best like a tacky soap opera. The performances too suffer under the film’s flat staging which makes the already predictable film even more tiresome.
And then we have to also sit through the action scenes and songs. In order to make a very somber film look commercial, the director seems to have added both these elements to help it sell better. The hero is neither a star to pull off such elaborate fight scenes nor are the songs good enough to keep us engaged. The least they could have done is to avoid these superfluous elements. But this film comes from a place where the writers assume that a message alone is enough to make a good movie. From the looks of it, a lot of it is borrowed from the Marathi film Sairat, just that they don’t get anything right. Sairat felt like sledge hammer to our heart. Vannakili Bharathi on the other hand, doesn’t even feel like a mosquito bite.