What stands out is that Vattam is hardly boring. This Sibi Sathyaraj-starrer that streams on Disney+Hotstar is worth watching.
Last Updated: 07.46 AM, Jul 30, 2022
Plot: An unhappy man decides to solve his problems after a breakup. Amid a kidnapping and a distressed couple, his situation worsens.
Review: As the title suggests, the film is about the circle of life. Vattam opens with a bunch of friends plotting to kidnap the only deaf and mute son of their boss, who fired them. In parallel, you get to know more about Mano (Sibi Sathyaraj), Parvathi (Andrea Jeremiah), and her husband Gautham (Vamsi Krishna). In the beginning, Vattam is a bit erratic. You don't understand why certain things happen the way it happens on the screen, but the curiosity of wanting to see where the plot was headed got the better of me! Once the film establishes the tone for its characters and a few others, it kicks off.
Mano isn't the kind of guy who doesn’t exactly worry or even think about the consequences of his deeds. But, that's not what it is. Vattam is a sincere effort at storytelling that makes the desired impact due to effective presentation. What adds value to the story of Vattam is Kamalakannan's clarity on the plot, and what he's trying to convey. Not a word, not a pause, not a glance, not a sigh feels out of place or unnecessary in the film. The dialogues stand out. It is a credit to the writing team that the screenplay allows for solid moments to spring out at the viewer. At some point, you find yourself thinking along with the characters. It's the second half that's meaty. That’s where Vattam scores.
The film depicts an interesting battle between luck and determination, chance and karma. Vattam comes from a team that knows how to narrate a story in almost two hours. At the end of the day, that matters a great deal. The film hits you like a punch in the gut because the director opts not to loosen the narrative threads until the final moment. The characters reel you into their story and you're invested enough in their life to desperately want to know what happens next. There are a few edge-of-the-seat moments that work quite well. The situational humour, where Sibi asks Andrea "Oo solriya Oo Oo solriya", is a hoot. The realistic feel of the film keeps you grounded.
Sibi Sathyaraj gets the laidback attitude right in many of the scenes, and it's evident he has had fun doing them. Andrea Jeremiah, on the other hand, delivers a credible performance—perhaps the most credible of the lot—when she plays the wife as a real person and not the cliche that we have come to see in most movies these days. Scenes involving Andrea and Sibi penetrate your consciousness, and this is easily one of Vattam's plus points.
Interesting shifts in perspectives occur throughout Vattam. The film undoubtedly compels you to think about patriarchy, redemption, conscience, reality and so on. Nothing is strained or contrived in the script. With subtle lighting, unobtrusive camera work that lets you sink into the story, and a pulsating background score, Vattam works because it’s not preachy.
Verdict: Vattam is not a great film by any standards, but it’s well intended and it goes about its job with sincerity, and sometimes, just sometimes, that’s enough.
(Vattam streams on Disney+Hotstar)