PONGAL MOVIE REVIEW – VEERAM AND JILLA

There’s a reason why I am reviewing both the movies in a single post. Both the movies work on the same template – HERO WORSHIP and have been made with the same intent – to please the hero’s large fan base. Even the cast and a few scenes are strikingly similar. Maybe that was the reason both the stars decided to release the movies on the same day.
JILLA – Somehow despite the presence of two big stars watching Jilla felt more like a torture especially because of the ultra slow first half. The comedy doesn’t work and seems forced. The song picturisation is awful. The strong points are the scenes where Vijay and Mohanlal face off. Mohanlal once again proves that what a powerful performer he is. Despite a clichéd role Mohanlal shines maybe that’s the bane of the movie too.For a movie supposedly banking on the hero’s mass image Vijay’s screen space is divided. 
The second half starts on a promising note but eventually drags to a predictable end. PoornimaBhagyaraj, Kajal Aggarwal Thambi Ramaiah and Niveda thomas all play second fiddle to the two leads. Soori‘s comedy fails to make an impression. Despite a few plusses Jilla at best is an average fare. Of the songs the Kanthangi number is a good listen. Better luck next time Nesan.
VEERAM – Veeram scores where Jilla fails. It sticks to the purpose for which it was made – glorifying Ajith. Despite the presence of a huge star cast they all revolve around the pivot Ajith. The presence of Santhanam boosts the first half. He fills the gap in comedy with his impeccable timing. The comedy which seemed contrived in Jilla works in Veeram. The fight scene before the interval is riveting.
Ajith completely takes over the second half with a clean shaven look.  The punch lines and the villain bashing all works satisfying his large fan base. The romance portion seems odd though mainly because Ajith’s salt and pepper look. Tammanah seems like a wrong choice for a mature Ajith. Of DSP‘s tracks the intro number and the Veeram theme works. The other songs are merely rehash of DSP’s old tunes. The movie might actually boost the careers of Viddharth and Bala. Nasser is his usual confident self.
Despite a clichéd storyline from Siruthai Siva and average screenplay Veeram works mainly because of Ajith’s towering presence. Veeram wins the battle of the stars but only just.
I did have my own worries though having seen both the stars at their versatile best it is painful to see them being typecast as larger than life demi -gods. Both seem to have fallen into an image trap. At some point it might all get stale.
MY RATING : JILLA 2.5
                        VEERAM 3
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