| 'Rowdyism Zindabad' seems to be the loudest cry in Tamil cinema these days with
several movies featuring rowdies as heroes. The trend was started with
Dheena last year following which we have had
actors like Surya(Nandha),
Ajeeth(Red) and Prakashraj(Dhaya)
portraying their own brand of rowdyism onscreen. Ofcourse, the extent of rowdyism
the hero indulges in is always directly proportional to his image. Now it is Vikram's turn
and naturally, he plays a 'good' rowdy who is reformed by his love and the affection
he receives from a considerate police officer.
Gemini(Vikram) is the rowdy who aspires to be the leading rowdy in his area
after toppling Teja('Kalabhavan' Mani), the current top gun. Gemini falls in
love with (Manisha)Kiran, a North Indian gal, even joining the same evening college
as her to spend time with her. Not knowing his true profession, she falls for
him too. The new DGP in town Singaperumal(Murali) cracks down on rowdyism
and both Gemini and Teja are arrested. It is a reformed Gemini who comes
out of jail and he struggles to convince Kiran of his change while resisting
Teja's attempts to incite him.
For the director, having a rowdy as hero is a good choice since it allows him to
easily incorporate the usual ingredients of romance, stunts and sentiments into
the story. All of the above are present in Gemini too but unfortunately
Saran has nothing new to offer in any of them. The story is routine, both in
the initial portions with a series of clashes between the gangs of
Vikram and 'Kalabhavan' Mani and the second half, featuring the reformed
Vikram. Manorama's addition to Vikram's household provides the sentiments and
the only minor twist in the storyline.
The only category the movie provides something unique in, is the portrayal of
the villain. 'Kalabhavan' Mani's mimickry talents are on full display as he
imitates a variety of animals during the course of his villainy. His imitation of
the physical movements of the giraffe and the snake are uncanny and add a new
dimension to his otherwise routine villain role. But, while this habit fully
highlights his acting talent, it does affect the seriousness of the role and
he never comes across as a completely detestable villain(unlike say, Ashish Vidyarthi in
While we usually have romances set in colleges, Vikram joining an evening college
just for Kiran is a new and funny idea for romance but is not built upon very well.
Vikram's encounters with the seniors and his deal with them on ragging him are funny
but the romance itself is not very cute. The other major setpiece is the autoshop
but the comedy here, with Saran's usual duo of Dhamu and Vaiyapuri, is not very
funny. But their sequences could be forgiven since they have a link, however
tenuous, with the main story. On the other hand the sequences involving Charlie are
unconnected, vulgar and just plain distracting.
After heavyweight roles like Sethu and
Kasi, this role isn't much of a stretch for Vikram
and he is not required to do much more than dance and fight, both of which he
does quite well. Kiran makes a
rather poor debut with no noticeable acting talent and an unattractive figure
made more obvious by her vulgar dresses. Apart from 'Kalabhavan' Mani, Murali
is the other Malayalam import and he gives a dignified performance as usual
as the upright DGP. Bharadwaj takes a cue from
Chocklet's enormously popular Male
Male... song to come up with the very catchy O Podu... number.
The song is fast, has some great beats and is apparently all the rage in
TN. A couple of other numbers Deewana Deewana... and
Pennoruthi... are good too.