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Movie Review: Bhagavathi (2002) Back to Movie
Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam
Fans Rating: 80%%80%% 80% (115 votes)
Movie Still While Ajith reverted back to romance with Raja after burning his hand with a string of non-performing action movies, Vijay seems to have chosen the opposite route. After a series of romantic movies like Shah Jahan and Youth, he now tries his hand at an actioner with Bhagavathy. Unfortunately, its the non-action portions of the movie that are entertaining while the action-filled second half falls flat on its face.

Bhagavathy(Vijay), a tea-stall owner, dotes on his younger brother Guna, who he hopes will be a doctor. Anjali(Reema Sen), the daughter of a judge(Seema) in the court complex where Bhagavathy has his stall, falls for him after a few meetings. Meanwhile, Guna and the daughter of a minister Eeshwarapandian(Ashish Vidyarthi) fall in love and the minister, coming to know of this, has Guna beaten up. Guna and the girl get married anyway but the act has tragic consequences with Eeshwarapandian killing Guna while his daughter now seeks refuge with Bhagavathy. When Bhagavathy learns that she is pregnant, he takes up violence(with the help of Eeshwarapandian's arch enemy Singamuthu(Ilavarasu)), to ensure that Eeshwarapandian does not kill the unborn child.

Bhagavathy contains echoes of several other movies, most notably Baasha, with its theme of a simpleton taking to violence following the death of a loved one. But to its credit, the movie manages to be quite entertaining in the down-to-earth first half. The tranformation of the hero too is well-picturised, even if unbelievable. It is only then that the movie loses both logic and entertainment value. Effective comedy, a passable romance and likeable characters populate the initial portions but all of these are lost in the lifeless second half. Instead we get a familiar, larger-than-life 'dada' character, unbelievable stunts, lacklustre clashes between the hero and the villain and unnecessary violence.

The director manages to create a lively and likeable character for Vijay initially. His miserliness if interestingly portrayed and his affection for his brother is brought out through sequences that are not heavy on sentiments. The romance is interesting and so can be forgiven for the usual unbelievable routine of a rich, judge's daughter falling for a tea-stall owner after a few chance encounters. The refill sequence in the bank and the ride Vijay takes with Reema Sen are both very funny. A little vulgarity does creep into the proceedings at places but considering that director Venkatesh's previous venture was Chocklet, we can be thankful that we are not subjected to an overdose of the same.

Consider this. Vijay's foray into violence is driven by the need to protect his brother's wife's unborn child, which he thinks is a reincarnation of his dead brother, from its grandfather! That by itself should illustrate the amount of seriousness that can be imparted to the movie! But the scenes that depict Vijay's transformation have been picturised in an adequately thrilling manner. His bloody acts at the judge's house and the subsequent trip to Ashish Vidyarthi's house are gripping with some nice touches(like his action with the aruvaal imitating his earlier style with the tea glass).

It is unfortunate that the rest of the movie fails miserably to maintain the raised tempo following Vijay's transformation. The training scenes are dispatched off too quickly and we never truly realise the magnitude of his growth. The plans by Ashish Vidyarthi to put an end to Vijay and the ways he foils them are never interesting and their one-to-one meetings lack the intensity to make them memorable. The well-publicised fight sequence on the train does not live upto expectations and fizzles out too. But very evident is the now familiar 'Rajni syndrome' with the swishing sounds accompanying every movement made by Vijay and the walk in slow motion with his goondas in tow.

Vijay impresses in the first half with both the romance and the comedy. His sequences with Vadivelu are very funny. Reema Sen shows no sign of the pretty heroine in Minnale and looks rather tired and jaded. She has no opportunities to show off her acting skills either. Ashish Vidyarthi is adequate while Ilavarasu raises laughs just by his dialog delivery. Vadivelu is quite funny when he is at the receiving end of comments from Vijay. But his sequences with the other Vadivelu aren't as funny. Deva provides the dappanguthu Allu Allu... and Podangu... but neither of them is likely to be the Male Male... of this movie. The other songs, including the duets, are very mediocre.

Rate movie A movie review by Balaji Balasubramaniam