Review: Vivegam

The film, directed by Siruthai Siva, features Ajith Kumar, Kajal Aggarwal, Vivek Oberoi and Akshara Haasan among others


Vivegam is an explosive action thriller that revolves around Ajay Kumar or AK (Ajith), a combat expert/ hitman / field operative with the Counter Terrorist Squad (CTS) who is forced to fight his own team after they backstab him during an operation.

I said ‘explosive action thriller’, right? I meant it. For almost once in every five minutes, you literally have action sequences exploding on the screen. In fact, the film begins with an action sequence in which AK gains hold of a device that governments across the globe are looking to gain access to. The man gets past a heavily fortified camp with three tiers of security (don’t ask how he manages to get past them!) and gains access to the device after shooting dead one of Europol’s senior officers.

Naturally, this move by the one-man army catches the eye of the CTS, a global organisation that looks to neutralise terror threats across the world. The top brass of CTS begins to wonder who this man is who has managed to get past such tight security and get his hands on such a sought after device. They send his pics to their best agents in the hope that one of them will be able to identify him.

Not one but all of them identify him as the best in business. More importantly, they identify him as one of their own. In other words, they identify him as a Field officer of CTS and they certify him to be the best! (You ask how the top brass of the CTS did not know about the best hitman they had and had to learn about him from other members of his team? Well, we don’t have an answer as well. Only director Siva can answer that!). Moving on, the team is surprised that AK is still alive as they were under the belief that they had killed him during their last assignment together.

A flashback of the last assignment then begins and we are told, AK is part of a highly specialised five-member team, one of whose members happens to be Aryaan ( Vivek Oberoi), the chief strategist for India.

The last known mission of AK was to track Natasha (Akshara Haasan), a cyber hacker who had helped terrorists gain access to passwords to set off three powerful plutonium weapons, which, when detonated underground, can cause the same impact as that of major earthquakes. While one weapon has gone off, the other two, are hidden somewhere in India.

By the time the flashback ends, we get to know that AK has tracked Natasha down and has gained her confidence. However, she gets shot and before he realises what is happening, he finds he has been backstabbed. He finds his own team members looking to kill him. They succeed or at least that is what they think.

Now, the man has come back and is looking to settle scores with a gang he once considered his team. Ajay Kumar will now not only have to fight an elite counter terrorist squad that once trained with him and that has the backing of over 80 governments in the world, he will also have to do so while defending his now pregnant wife, Yazhini (Kajal Aggarwal). Who will win this battle? And more importantly, why did the team choose to kill one of their own in the first place? Vivegam gives you the answer to all these questions and more.

Most of the action sequences have been shot on a lavish budget. But not all of them impress. Sometimes, you feel as if director Siva, in his eagerness to please Ajith’s fans, has gone overboard. Some of the action sequences do more harm than good to the characterisation of AK. For instance, the first action sequence has Ajith delivering punch lines when he has almost an entire regiment pointing guns at him! As always, not one bullet of an entire army of trained gunmen finds its mark while every shot Ajith fires in response takes down a person from the opposite camp!

The punchlines too are as frequent as the action sequences. In fact, Ajith delivers a punchline at every given opportunity. And it is not just him! Everybody in the film, from Akshara Haasan, who appears for about 15 minutes to Kajal Aggarwal to Vivek Oberoi delivers punchlines!

A lot of technical names and gadgets have been thrown in to the film to give it an authentic look and feel but all that it does is make the plot cumbersome and unconvincing.

The film has its set of strengths though. Some of the sequences are just mindblowing and the effort that Ajith and the team have put in shows. For instance, the chase sequence in which Ajith tries to rescue Akshara Haasan on a bike is just brilliant. The fight that follows after her death is equally well shot. Akshara Haasan wins brownie points for her performance in this film. Vivek Oberoi might have played the role of a villain but he does that with absolute confidence and control. Easily, a performance that he will like to remember. Kajal Aggarwal comes up with a decent performance as well. Ajith’s performance is difficult to describe. In some portions of the film, the man looks every bit the role. In other places, he seems completely out of sorts. But by and large, he is convincing as the top, infallible hitman of a global anti-terror outfit.

Cinematographer Vetri deserves special mention for the fantastic manner in which he has captured the story through his lens. Every scene is a painting, making it hard for one to take one’s eyes off the screen. The scenic beauty of countries like Serbia and Bulgaria have been greedily captured by Vetri’s lenses that lay a feast for the eyes of every viewer. His visuals are so striking that it is hard not to enjoy the visuals even when there is explosive action on screen.

Another big factor that lends strength to the film is Anirudh’s music and background score. Both breathe life in to the film. Anirudh’s romantic numbers in particular, lift your heart and tug at your heart strings.

Siva’s direction is good in parts. There are sequences which really deserve appreciation. But then unfortunately, there are also sequences that can actually put you to sleep.

On the whole, Vivegam is a delight if you are an Ajith fan. If you aren’t, it is a reasonably good action entertainer.