The flight is fast in a few places, furious and fun in some and attains a “cruise mode” but the pilot, writer-director Rathinashiva ensures that you don’t get to jump off mid-flight.

Rekka review This Vijay Sethupathi starrer has a bit of turbulence but the landing is smoothScreenshot: Sony Music India/YouTube
Features Movie review Friday, October 07, 2016 - 19:49

By Sujatha Narayanan

The seemingly long but relevant flashback with Mala-akka (Shija Rose, who bears a striking resemblance to Sneha) and Siva (Vijay Sethupathi) contains within it the backbone for “Rekka” (Wing) to soar. 

The flight is fast in a few places, furious and fun in some and attains a “cruise mode” but the pilot, writer-director Rathinashiva ensures that you don’t get to jump off mid-flight.

His co-pilot is the “hero of this year” Vijay- Rekka is his fifth release this year- and there is a bit of turbulence but the landing is smooth enough.

Vijay handles both his fistful of punches and the punch-lines quite well.

He knows he is an intelligent actor asked to do these flights of fancy stuff, with build-up shots and dream songs and he delivers his version of a “superman” film!

Siva is first introduced as playing chess with his sister’s friend whom he has “thooki-fied” from the altar. He “lifts brides when the wedding is without their consent”. And he does that to assuage the guilt he carries from his childhood.

By the time you get to this main one-line of the film, the hero has done all things heroic. He has his intro-song, takes-on an entire village in Madurai and walks off with heroine Lakshmi Menon who sports a perpetual wide-eyed look and grin to match.

K S Ravikumar and Vijay share a good chemistry.

In one scene set inside an elevator in Brookefields Mall in Coimbatore, Siva gets to meet his childhood crush Mala-akka. This is possibly the first Tamil film where the subtle difference between a “crush” and romantic love is explored in-depth. Vijay Sethupathi’s maturity as an actor shines through in the manner he opens his arms to his one-time teacher and favourite woman in the world who is not his romantic interest.

Imaan’s song “Kannamma Kannamma Azhagu Poonsilai” sung by Nandini Srikar elevates the moment and this scene becomes the sincerest of “’em all” in this otherwise breezy flick.

Imaan pays homage to Ilayaraja in one film after another and the lines- lyrics by Yugabarathy- for  “Nachunnu Kadhala Kottura Aambala” from “Kanna Kaattu Podhum” seem to be written just for the charm Vijay carries.

The women in the film are quite bold and garrulous- when the heroine tells a goon next to her to keep the knife on her throat so her hero’s fight will have more “oomph” in it, the theatre erupts in applause. Kishore, a fine actor otherwise, is a bit lost here as Mala-akka’s love interest.

The film has its ha-ha moments as well. Vijay Sethupathi carries off lines like “Porum indha over build-up naeraa vishayathukku vaa” with a characteristic nonchalance like he displays when he describes the white-dhothi clad, sickle carrying goons in the heroine’s father’s house to the villain (“Avanga innum update-y aagala david-u”.)

This is a mere visiting card for a good actor like Vijay Sethupathi, to play a typical “mass” hero whose single look is enough to send the attacker flying out and crashing into the vinyl board.

While getting out of the theatre the one question I had in my mind was “So if Vijay Sethupathi does what a Vijay would normally do, what will a Vijay do next?”  And my next question was “Is it sheer coincidence that his character’s name in the film is Siva?” Vijay Sethupathi does strike a confident pose in the intro-song as his contemporary and current box-office favourite Siva Karthikeyan!

Sujatha Narayanan is an author, and also a columnist with The New Indian Express.

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