Naane Varuvean Review: An excellent setup undone by a bland second half
‘Naane Varuvean’ was an eagerly awaited film solely for one reason — the reunion of Dhanush and Selvaraghavan. The two brothers have collaborated for many memorable films in the past like ‘Thulluvadho Ilamai’, ‘Kaadhal Kondein’, ‘Pudhupetta’, and ‘Mayakkam Enna’. Naturally, the hype surrounding their comeback film was huge. Let’s see…
‘Naane Varuvean’ had Dhanush in a dual role as Prabhu and Kathir. The twin brothers get seperated in their childhood itself after the mother abandons Kathir, the evil one, for killing their father. Cut to the present, Prabhu is living a peaceful life with his wife and teenage daughter. A doting father, Prabhu is very close to his daughter, Sathya. After a North Indian vacation, Sathya falls sick and the parents start noticing behavioural changes only for their worst fears to come true. Anything more will be spoilers, so I’ll stop right there.
The first half of the film is anything unlike what the promos promised. It’s a totally different film with a completely contrasting mood. The buildup is terrific with some organically done chilling moments. Though the making appear amateurish at times, it has some genuine thrilling scenes and grabs our attention. The first half ends on a kickass note, but from there, everything goes for a toss. It turns out to be bland and lacklustre wigh hardly anything memorable. The characters end up shallow and one dimensional. Most disappointing factor is how Kathir, a character which promised a lot, gets a raw deal. It is a classic case of the first half and second half coming across as two different films. It’s as if the makers had no idea of what to do with the story after a point. It could have well been another sibling rivalry story like ‘Aalavandhan’ rather than being such an insipid film.
Dhanush tries his to best to lift the film with his performance. He comes up with contrasting style of performances for the two characters, but the lack of depth in writing has a big impact. Dhanush is said to have scripted the film, though he has not been officially credited. If it’s true, then the actor has no one else to blame. It is an opportunity spoilt.