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Review: Vil Ambu is worth a watch

A scene from Vil AmbuVil Ambu is an engaging thriller, writes S Saraswathi.

Every decision we take in our life has a direct impact on our future, and also has the power to influence the lives of others. They may be strangers, even people who we may never meet.

This theory of a particular action or incident triggering a chain reaction affecting several lives forms the core of debutant director Ramesh Subramaniam’s Vil Ambu.

The film starts of well with the director introducing two characters from distinctly opposite social backgrounds. Arul (Harish Kalyan) belongs to a middle class family where the focus is on inculcating good values and the importance of education in getting a decent job. Karthik (Sri) has a drunkard father and a mother, who works as a domestic help.

The director efficiently points out the flaws in both these systems. So we have Arul, who has his entire life and career mapped out for him, whereas Karthik is left to fend for himself.

Growing up, Arul has to quash his dreams of becoming a professional photographer and get into the lucrative IT sector to fulfill his father’s wishes.  On the other hand, Karthik becomes a school dropout and make a living selling movie tickets in black.

How their paths cross and how they influence each other’s lives without ever meeting forms the rest of the story. 

Director Ramesh Subramaniam has put in a lot of thought and effort in creating an environment that facilitates random meetings between its two protagonists. Though interesting in the beginning, the coincidences just don’t seem to stop. Back and forth, the lives of Arul and Karthik intertwine and after a while, it gets tedious.

There are several subplots well integrated into the narrative, but the director fails to maintain any real suspense. Background score by Navin is too loud and dramatic and songs are entirely irrelevant, disrupting the flow of the narrative.

However, what works big time for the film is the performance of its lead actors. 

Sri, who has previously worked with director Balaji Sakthivel in the critically acclaimed Vazhakku Enn 18/9 and Mysskin's Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum has once again given an exceptional performance.  The young actor is perfectly cast as the callous rowdy quick to anger and itching for a good fight. He also showcases his excellent comic timing; his scenes with actor Yogi Babu are hilarious. 

Harish, who appears more sedate with his boy-next-door looks, also delivers for his director. 

Director Ramesh may have failed to capitalise on an intelligent plot but Vil Ambu is an engaging thriller, well worth a watch. 

Rediff Rating: