Viswasam is a sentimental journey where you submit yourself to the emotionally-driven storytelling and let go of all the imperfections in the film.
There was a feeling of uncontrollable emotions building up inside me that burst out in the form of tears. The father-daughter relationship delineated in Director Siva’s Viswasam (Loyalty) was so beautiful and heartrending at the same time which makes you forget all the flaws in the film. You get absorbed by its relatable and emotional narrative. It’s a film where you leave the cinema halls wiping off your tears from the face.
Starring Ajith Kumar (or ‘Thala’ as his fans fondly call him), Viswasam opens with two different sides of feelings – mirthfulness and melancholy. The happy side is the sight of green fields, people cultivating crops and the enjoyment during a festival. And the other side shows the debate over conducting a festival and the sadness in Thooku Durai (Ajith Kumar) while everyone else is having fun during the festival (An old lady points out that he is deliberately keeping a smile on his face to hide the agony inside him). The latter feeling wins over the former and makes up for the erratic comedy (except for Yogi Babu as Velu) that the film produces. Viswasam takes us through the life of Thooku Durai, his love-life, and his reunion with his daughter amidst troubles.
The maturity in the romance between Thooku Durai and Niranjana (Nayanthara) was a delight to watch (it was exemplified by Nayanthara and Ajith’s beautiful exhibition). There isn’t any instant love that is prominently seen in such masala films. The bond between Thooku Durai and Niranjana grows steadily. It was lovely to see that they get to know that one is staring at the other through some children and not a lot of fuss is made over that. Even the proposal comes from Niranjana’s father for the marriage. Also, not much of dialogue was infused in this phase and little things like gestures of approval made it even more attractive (like the “hmm” from Niranjana when he confirms her affection towards him or his ‘Indian nod’ as a mark of acceptance for the marriage proposal or when she holds his hands to show that she wants to hug him). This is also the phase which features the “Danga Danga” song composed by D. Imman which was nice to hear in an otherwise underwhelming background score and the disappointing cluster of songs.
It was the relationship between a father and the daughter that was superbly sketched in this film and will be remembered for years to come. It was shown through Thooku Durai, the protagonist, and Gautham Veer (Jagapathi Babu), the antagonist. We could feel the affliction in Thooku Durai when his daughter Swetha (Anikha) tells him that she thinks of her father (not knowing that Thooku Durai is her father) while taking part in a race competition as she hates him the most. It was a moving scene when Gautham’s daughter conveys to him that she can’t stop talking to him. No matter how melodramatic the movie turns out towards the end, both the relationships were excellently registered in our minds as it gets hard to not cry during the climax.
The duel between Thooku Durai and Gautham Veer was intriguing. It was a consuming interaction where Gautham says that he is the “hero” and Thooku Durai retorts saying, “en kathai la naa villain da”. It reminds us of Ajith’s success with characters that have negative shade. We also see that Thooku Durai is a person who gets into a fight easily and is also known for coming out on top whenever he gets into a fight. So, it was pleasant to see that there isn’t a truckload of fight sequences. There are some interestingly crafted stunt sequences where a sort of mind game is played (when Thooku Durai uses the method of ‘waiting for the lion to come near the sheep’). The heroic moments during Thooku Durai’s duel with Gautham and the fight sequences looked resplendent.
Vivek and Kovai Sarala have a small part to play and are not too funny but managed to bring a smile on our face. The brief presence of Yogi Babu as Velu was hilarious as he calls a doctor as “aambala Doctor” who is standing amidst female doctors or irritatingly call him a “bommai moonji”. But his transient spell was so good that it makes you yearn for more as Robo Shankar and Thambi Ramaiah, who have much longer screen space, are not comedic at all and when they do try something funny, it feels annoying. Even Ajith’s comical act did not work for me.
The sentiment is the hallmark of this film and it sounds really good when Ajith gives us a life lesson. It feels insightful when he talks about unity and how a festival brings different people together. In another instance, he even stresses upon “muyarchi” that points towards the need to keep trying in our life.
There have been some great movies which really makes us cry and I have been witness to such great motion pictures. When it comes to watching a really good emotional movie in a cinema hall, trying not to cry so that people sitting near you does not find out, and still winding up crying with no control whatsoever, I can remember that I actually wept when I watched Aamir Khan starring “Taare Zameen Par” in a movie theatre. Viswasam is another addition in that list. This film is a sentimental journey where you submit yourself to the emotionally-driven storytelling and let go of all the imperfections in the film.