Looking back on the actor-director duo’s work on the eve of Vada Chennai‘s release.

Pettaikaran, a veteran and guru in rooster fighting, loses his cool when one of his disciples, Karuppu (Dhanush) goes against his word in a fight. The scratch on his fragile ego spirals into serious enmity among those around him. This spiraling out is what all the actors present with great intensity.

This is a film that just provides the feeling of watching an epic, in spite of not actually being one. It involves dynamics between not more than five major characters, in a single town, and also unravels in a rather short span of time. But Vetrimaaran sets these dynamics around a traditional “game” of sorts, and the powerplay and one-upmanship from there seeps into these characters’ individual lives. At a point, even life starts to feel like a game of “who has the better cock” (pun totally intended). Though not devoid of rough edges (Irene slitting her wrists spoils an otherwise sensibly written character), this for me is easily one of the greatest stories to come out of Tamil cinema.

The film took home a bag full of (six) deserving National Awards, including Best Actor for Dhanush. This might not be his best performance ever, it still is a superlative one for how he does justice to the film’s aesthetic while playing to the gallery at the same time.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recent Posts

You Might Also Like

Manjummel Boys
Jigarthanda DoubleX
Ponniyin Selvan: II