Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Nazriya Nazim, Madhoo, Pandiarajan, Robo Shankar
Director: Balaji Mohan
Star Rating: ***1/2
Synopsis: Panimalar, a small village in Tamil Nadu, is struck by the dumb flu – thereby affecting the lives of all of its residents. Will the town survive this disease? Maybe this is a subtle message that it’s about time we all shut up and take notice?
Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, (Samsaaram Aarogyathinu Haanikaram in Malayalam), produced under the Y Not Films banner, in all fairness is a bold attempt. Whether it will work with the audiences or not is a different story altogether. The film, is set in the picturesque town of Panimalar, a hill station, where the protagonist Aravind (Dulquer Salmaan), blessed with the gift of the gab, ekes out a living as a door-to-door salesman, selling Fix It. Quite appropriate, since he seems to be the ‘fixer’ of all problems – coming up with solutions to people’s everyday problems, be it in their kitchens or their relationships. The chatterbox that he is, Aravind believes that any problem can be solved - by simply talking it out. In complete contrast to his character is Anjana (Nazriya), a junior doctor who prefers silence to words. A sudden surge of a virus that affects people who talk, called the H10N10 virus (dumb flu), takes over the town, causing people to lose their voice. To his dismay, Aravindh discovers that he has the flu and his frequent meetings with Anjana lead to a rather clandestine albeit dreamy romance.
While the first half successfully establishes the characters and their pet peeves in loud and (sometimes) brash instances, the second half in beautiful contrast is almost entirely silent (thanks to a talking ban imposed on the town). Emotions run high and every character – be it the protagonists’ or the other characters in the film, including a politically incorrect Health Minister Sundaralingam (Pandiarajan), or a warring president of the drunkards association, Mattai Ravi (Robo Shankar) – deliver an applause worthy performance – all sans words.
Vaayai Moodi Pesavum marks the debut of Dulquer Salmaan, Mollywood superstar Mammooty’s son in Tamil cinema. For a debutant, his obvious good looks and his impressive acting skills, especially in the second half, proves that he is someone worth watching out for. Nazriya is not her usual exuberant self, essaying Anjana with restraint and poise – quite commendable for an actress so young.
The film is also the comeback of the supremely talented Madhoo, as Vidhya, Anjana’s stepmother. Her screen space might be limited, but she more than makes it up with her expressive eyes and ageless charm. Balaji Mohan’s appearance as a newscaster does draw some laughs, but it is Robo Shankar and John Vijay’s (who essays the character of Nuclear Star Boomesh) antics that draw the maximum laughs. Sean Rolden’s music needs special mention as the entire film post the interval, comes alive - thanks to his BGM.
Clearly, there are many subtexts to the film – a little too many to delve into. However, like fine wine and certain genres of music, it does take a little getting used to. We reiterate – Vaayai Moodi Pesavum is definitely a bold attempt.