Vadhandhi The Fable of Velonie cast: SJ Suryah, Laila, Sanjana, Vivek PrasannaVadhandhi
The Fable of Velonie director: Andrew Louis Vadhandhi
The Fable of Velonie rating: 3.5/5
It is commendable and brave of director Andrew Louis to make Vadhandhi, a slow-burn mystery thriller centred on the death of an 18-year-old girl, Velonie, at a time when filmmakers are growing increasingly concerned about the dwindling attention span of the audience and the need to make the films tauter and rapidly progressive. The story opens with an exciting drama about a case of identity confusion. On the slopes of a village near Kanyakumari, a film crew starts preparing for the day.
Arriving on the sets, a group of assistant directors applaud the art director’s creation of a lifelike dummy of a dead body that is lying on the sets. It turns out to be a real corpse. The news quickly becomes the top headline on all media outlets and websites when it is initially determined that it is the heroine of the movie. Police are left with a young woman’s unidentified body after the female actor calls the unit and screams that she is still alive. This is how “The Fable of Velonie” starts.
Vadhandhi is impressive because of its excellent writing. The script is lengthy and well-written, which is uncommon in the emerging Tamil web series market. Each scene takes its time to establish itself, and the expositions flow very well. It is also blatantly brave to discuss the negative aspects of things. For instance, a man may enter the ambulance without sitting in the front after the body has been placed inside. When a policeman sees this, he becomes furious and orders the man to get down. He says, “I know what you’re up to. I can’t do anything sir, he replies in a chilling tone.
The main issue with the series is that. In contrast to the voyeuristic aspect of some of the sequences, the representation of sexual violence requires better shot selection and staging for a series that aspires to be progressive. It would be sad to ignore the series’ accomplishments in favour of ignoring a few of its errors. like how the murder is shown to be impacted by people and things that are far away yet taking place in Kanyakumari. The Madras High Court is ordered to begin suo motu proceedings by a magistrate who is soon to retire. This forces the Superintendent of Police to name Vivek (SJ Suryah) to handle the case.
Going to such lengths to demonstrate how the protagonist comes to possess the case is unquestionably a creative decision. However, some of these options don’t work as well as the crude discussions of a group of IT experts about Velonie’s case. They are intended to serve as societal proxies. It was unnecessary filler in a otherwise self-aware series.
The series’ ability to give each character dimension is its other great accomplishment. Even Vivek, in addition to Velonie, is a complicated being. The strange bond he begins to have with the deceased is the series’ most intriguing feature. Although it is a well-worn criminal thriller cliché, it has never before been so meticulously portrayed in Tamil. The wife of Vivek, a married father of a son, is perplexed by his inability to resist falling for Velonie. These are uncharted territory, and the series easily navigates it.
Then there is SJ Suryah, who, with Vadhandhi, demonstrates that he is capable of succeeding in any role even without using his signature eccentric body language. He is a complete joy to see as Vivek. He exudes a warm personality and is extremely real. Suryah’s understated acting creates a significant impact even in a brief sequence. I particularly enjoyed the scene where Suryah repeatedly calls a suspect in Coimbatore, and when the suspect turns off his phone, Suryah casually tells his assistant, “Coimbatore polam vaa.” To be honest, there isn’t much to the scene, but the actor adds some style and character to make it memorable.
Vadhandhi clearly draws a lot of inspiration from small-town western whodunits and criminal mysteries (Sinner being a key one), but it succeeds by mixing the foreign genre into the setting. Although there are many errors, the production and acting are strong enough to make up for them.