Viduthalai Part 1 is a Tamil-language period police procedural crime thriller film that hit the screens on March 31, 2023. Directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Vetrimaaran, the film is based on the short story Thunaivan by B. Jeyamohan. The film stars Soori and Vijay Sethupathi in the lead roles, along with Bhavani Sre, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Rajiv Menon, and Chetan in supporting roles. The film has been produced by Elred Kumar under the banners of RS Infotainment and Grass Root Film Company, and has music by the legendary composer Ilaiyaraaja.
The film has received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for its gripping storyline, realistic portrayal of the socio-political scenario, and stellar performances by the cast. The film has also been praised for its technical aspects, such as cinematography by R. Velraj, editing by R. Ramar, and sound design by Resul Pookutty.
In this blog post, we will explore the various aspects of this film that make it a must-watch for cinema lovers.
The film is set in the late 1980s, in a remote village near the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. The village is surrounded by dense forests that are rich in natural resources and biodiversity. However, these forests are also under threat from a mining company that wants to exploit them for profit, with the support of the government and some corrupt officials.
The villagers are opposed to this project, as it would destroy their livelihood and environment. They are led by Perumal alias Vaathiyaar (Vijay Sethupathi), a charismatic leader who heads a separatist group called Makkal Padai (People’s Army). Vaathiyaar and his followers are ready to fight against the authorities and the system that oppresses them.
On the other side, we have the police force that is tasked with maintaining law and order in the region. They are headed by Sunil Menon (Gautham Vasudev Menon), a senior officer who leads a special operation called Operation Ghosthunt to capture Vaathiyaar and his associates. Sunil Menon is assisted by Ragavendar (Chetan), an officer-in-charge of E-Company, a unit of elite commandos.
The film revolves around the conflict between these two groups, and how it affects the lives of the people involved. The film also focuses on the journey of Kumaresan (Soori), a police constable who joins E-Company as a driver. Kumaresan is an innocent and naive man who is unaware of the complexities and dangers of his job. He soon finds himself in a series of unfortunate events that lead him to cross paths with Vaathiyaar and his group.
The film explores various themes that are relevant to the contemporary society and politics. Some of these themes are:
– The struggle of the oppressed and marginalized people against the powerful and privileged classes
– The exploitation of natural resources and environmental degradation by corporate interests
– The corruption and collusion of the government and bureaucracy with vested interests
– The role of media and propaganda in shaping public opinion and perception
– The ethics and morality of violence and non-violence as means of resistance
– The identity and ideology of nationalism and separatism
– The humanization and dehumanization of individuals and groups in conflict situations
The film adopts a realistic and gritty style that suits the genre and tone of the story. The film does not shy away from showing the brutality and bloodshed that occur in such conflicts. The film also uses documentary-style footage and voice-overs to provide background information and context to the audience.
The film also employs a non-linear narrative structure that switches between different timelines and perspectives. This creates a sense of suspense and intrigue for the viewers, as they try to piece together the events and motives of the characters.
The film also uses symbolism and metaphors to convey deeper meanings and messages. For example, the title Viduthalai (Liberation) refers to both the political goal of Vaathiyaar’s group, as well as the personal liberation of Kumaresan from his ignorance and innocence.
The film boasts of some stellar performances by its cast members. Soori delivers a career-best performance as Kumaresan, who undergoes a remarkable transformation from a simpleton to a survivor. He brings out the innocence, vulnerability, confusion, fear, anger, courage, and compassion of his character with utmost sincerity and conviction.
The film has also been a commercial success, as it has managed to attract a large number of viewers to the theatres. The film has reportedly earned a box office collection of Rs 4.8 crore on its second day, which is Rs 1.3 crore more than its opening day collection. The film has also performed well in Kerala, where it has minted Rs 30 lakhs within two days. The film’s total gross collection is estimated to be around Rs 10 crore.
The film’s box office performance is commendable, considering the fact that it is a period film with a serious and sensitive subject matter. The film has also faced stiff competition from other releases, such as Godzilla vs Kong and Karnan. The film’s positive word-of-mouth and critical acclaim have helped it to sustain its momentum and draw more audiences.
The film’s box office success is also a testament to the popularity and credibility of Vetrimaaran as a filmmaker, who has delivered several hits in the past, such as Polladhavan, Aadukalam, Visaranai, Vada Chennai, and Asuran. The film also marks the first collaboration between Vetrimaaran and Vijay Sethupathi, who is one of the most versatile and bankable actors in Tamil cinema. The film also showcases the potential of Soori as a lead actor, who has proved his mettle with his remarkable performance.
The film’s box office performance is also a sign of hope for the revival of the film industry, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions. The film’s success shows that there is still a demand for quality cinema that can entertain and enlighten the viewers.
Viduthalai Part 1 is a film that deserves to be watched and appreciated by all cinema lovers. The film is not only a thrilling and engaging crime thriller, but also a powerful and poignant commentary on the socio-political issues that plague our society. The film is also a showcase of the talent and vision of Vetrimaaran, who has once again proved his mastery over the craft of filmmaking. The film is also a milestone for Soori, who has delivered a career-best performance as Kumaresan. The film is also enriched by the performances of Vijay Sethupathi, Bhavani Sre, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Rajiv Menon, Chetan, and others.
The film is also a reminder of the importance of preserving our natural resources and environment, and resisting the forces that threaten to destroy them. The film is also a tribute to the spirit of rebellion and resistance that lives in every oppressed and marginalized person.
Viduthalai Part 1 is a film that will stay with you long after you watch it. It is a film that will make you think, feel, and question. It is a film that will inspire you to fight for your rights and freedom.