Director: Seenu Ramasamy
Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Tamannah, Radhikaa, Aishwarya Rajesh, Shrushti
When Vijay Sethupathi teamed up with his mentor Seenu Ramasamy for yet another realistic emotional tale ‘Dharma Durai,’ the expectations were huge. True to the sobriquet Makkal Selvan (People’s hero), which was given to him recently, Sethupathi in the titular role, hogs the limelight with his subtle yet riveting performance.
The movie opens in a remote village near Theni with Dharma Durai (Vijay Sethupathi) a chronic alcoholic who is an embarrassment for his brothers (Arul Dass, Soundarraja etc.) They run a chit business and the only soul who cares for him in his family, is his mother Pandiyamma (Radhikaa Sarath Kumar). Dharma is often beaten up by his brothers and locked in the backyard. When Dharma goes about telling the villagers that his brothers would abscond with their hard earned money, they hatch a plan to bump him off with the help of their uncle (E.Ramadoss), a suspended cop. However, coming to know of her sons’ evil plan, Pandiyamma helps Dharma with a blade to escape from the house. He carries few clothes in a bag lying in his brother’s room, which has the chit money, and of which Dharma is not aware.
Now, Dharma goes to his college where he studied and we are shown that he is actually a doctor by profession. In a flashback mode, Dharma is seen as a studious medical student and is a happy go lucky guy with a gang of friends including Stella (Shrushti Dange) and Subashini (Tamannah). While the former proposes to him, the latter hides her love. Cut to present, Dharma goes in search of his friends and to get back his lost life. While he comes to know that Stella died in an accident, he could spot Subha at Madurai where she is a practicing doctor. The second flashback opens where the reason for him becoming an alcoholic is revealed.
We can’t take our eyes from Vijay Sethupathi even as the story travels along with him to various places. He has proved yet again that he is an actor of substance given an author-backed role. The biggest plus for the movie is Seenu has extracted the best from each and every actor, be it small or big. Even the ‘Temple Bull’, which comes in few scenes impresses. Among the three girls in Dharma’s life, it is Aishwarya Rajesh as Anbuselvi who steals the show with her stellar performance. Tamannah in a matured role is impressive. Shrushti Dange has nothing much to do. Radhikaa demonstrates her versatility and brings in so much to the movie. Rajesh, MS Bhaskar, Kanja Karuppu and Soundarraja do their part well. Seenu’s dialogues are touchy and relevant, but screenplay lags at times, especially the college portions. Also, there are logical lags. Why didn’t Dharma make an attempt to call his doting mother in the village even once after he reforms?
Technically, Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs and background score aid the proceedings exceedingly well. Sukumar’s captivating camera angles and movements are laudable. The evening sky shots (it is called magical moment in camera parlance) are marvelous. Barring few dull moments, DD is a feel good drama worth a watch....