'60 Vayadhu Maaniram' review: Unconvincing performances with a predictable story

The lack of investment in the film’s characters becomes its major undoing.
'60 Vayadhu Maaniram' review: Unconvincing performances with a predictable story
'60 Vayadhu Maaniram' review: Unconvincing performances with a predictable story
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Radha Mohan’s 60 Vayadhu Maaniram was completed while he was working on Kaatrin Mozhi with Jyothika. This film, starring Prakash Raj, Vikram Prabhu and Samuthirakani, is the Tamil remake of the 2016 Kannada film Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu (Wheatish Complexion Moderate Build).

The film’s story begins with Shiva (played by Vikram Prabhu), who is traveling to Chennai to meet his father Govindaraj (Prakash Raj), a sixty year-old-man with Alzheimer's.

We’re briefly introduced to Shiva’s character, a career-focussed, practical young man with a tad bit of a temper problem (which hero doesn’t have that issue?). Shiva chooses to leave behind his father at an Alzheimer’s care facility so he can get on with life, not because he does not care for him but because it is the convenient thing to do.

From the film’s title, the story is made apparent - man goes missing, son sets out to find him. On a parallel track is the story of a henchman Ranga (Samuthirakani) who is hatching a plan to finish off a cop. The two narratives collide and the rest of the film is about how Shiva finds his father and how Ranga fights the evil within him.

Prakash Raj, with his huge experience that looms over him like a shadow, is quite unable to shake off the weight of his grand past to fit into the shoes of Govindaraj. Therefore, his performance as the 60-year-old man with Alzheimer's seems a little overdone.

60 Vayadhu Maaniram treads carefully in treating Alzheimer’s. A brief sequence shows how Govindaraj finds out about his condition and this has been sensibly presented. However, it is not without the side-effect of going overboard with emotional dialogues.

Every opportunity is used to deliver an emo-monologue or an angry social commentary. There’s even a philosophical white-dog-black-dog story that alludes to the good and bad within everyone. In that sense, 60 Vayadhu Maaniram is a standard Radha Mohan offering.

Another place where the film slips is in the absence of a strong script that allows the audience to relate with the characters seen on screen. You know Shiva is aloof, Govindaraj is as pure as a baby and Ranga, although a hitman, has compassion lurking within him. Yet, you never feel close to these characters. You neither feel the son’s anxiety nor the hitman’s mental turmoil.

This lack of investment in the film’s characters becomes its major undoing. Therefore, even when these characters are seen shedding a tear or two on screen, it does not move you as it should.

Both Prakash Raj and Samuthirakani are not at their best in this film. Elango Kumaravel does a good job with his witty one-liners. Indhuja who plays Archana, Govindaraj’s doctor, does what she can with what she has been given. The romance between Archana and Shiva, however, seems forced and extremely predictable.

The music by Ilaiyaraaja sounds a lot like his recent offerings and impresses very little. Cinematography by Vivek Anand has been done quite well. Dialogues by Viji are very predictable and cliched.

While 60 Vayadhu Maaniram had a better chance of being an intense, warm drama, it loses its charm with overdone performances and cliched dialogues. 

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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