The father-son conflict has ample scope to make the film a riveting fare, but the screenplay doesn't show promise and what we get is a template rural family drama
Karthi in Viruman
Story: A naïve, do-gooder, who hates his father to the core, never loses an opportunity to insult him. Later, his elder brothers, too, join him after they find it difficult to stay with their self-centered father. A shrewd businessman utilizes this rift among father and sons and hatches plans to finish off the elderly man to settle an old score.
Review: Anyone who has watched at least two films of Muthaiya knows what to expect from his movies. Like his previous outings, Viruman, too, is a rural drama laced with family emotions, revenge-seeking men, characters who are ready to sacrifice their lives and couples who love each other unconditionally.
The protagonist in Muthaiya's universe, as always, is agile and thrashes the wrongdoers black and blue. The movie begins with Viruman (Karthi) emerging as the winner in a wrestling match in his home town in Madurai. His father Muniyandi (Prakash Raj), who is not on good terms with him, is clearly disappointed over his son's victory.
Viruman hates his father from a young age as his mother (Saranya Ponvannan) committed suicide because of his father's ill-treatment towards her. But unlike him, all his three elder brothers stay with his father and lead their lives based on the elderly man's whims and fancies.
As time passes by, Viruman's brothers lose their patience and they, too, stay away from Muniyandi. An opportunistic businessman who gets to know about the feud in the family decides to assassinate Muniyandi owing to an old revenge. Should we expect Viruman to save his father?
The wafer-thin plot is watchable only because of neat performances from talented actors like Karthi, Prakash Raj, Rajkiran and Vadivukkarasi among others. Karthi fits into the protagonist's role effortlessly, but we can't stop noticing the striking similarities of his portrayal with a couple of characters he has essayed earlier.
Aditi Shankar makes a confident debut as the female lead; though hers is a stereotypical heroine character, barring a couple of scenes, Viruman doesn't come across as her first outing. The characters essayed by Prakash Raj, Rajkiran and Vadivukkarasi remind us of numerous roles which they have played before. However, they have put their best foot forward in making the done-to-death story presentable on screen.
Apart from the aforementioned actors, the movie features an ensemble cast, including Karunas, RK Suresh, Soori, Manoj Bharathiraja, Singam Puli and Ilavarasu among others, but none of their scenes or dialogues stay with you when you leave the theatre.
Most of the funny one-liners of Soori and Singam Puli fall flat and do not engage viewers. The father-son conflict has ample scope to make the film a riveting fare with relatable emotions, but the screenplay doesn't show promise and what we get is a template rural family drama which has been frequently served to us.
A couple of songs composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja stand out, but the background score is strictly average. The action scenes are neatly choreographed, though it lacks punch. There is hardly any scene which makes us emotionally invest in the movie, despite actors trying to do justice to the respective roles they have been offered.
Viruman is the first film in Karthi's career in which he has teamed up with a filmmaker for the second time. There is no denying that Muthaiya has given a couple of engaging films in the past, but we wish the former had joined hands again with the likes of Ameer, H Vinoth, Selvaraghavan, Pa Ranjith and Lokesh Kanagaraj.
Verdict: The performances of actors are the only saving grace of this middling fare which has nothing new to offer.