My neighbor brought me back a stack of Tamil DVD’s from her trip to Chennai and I’m slowly making my way through them. I was looking for a lighter movie and took a chance on Vettai (The Hunt), a 2012 Tamil action comedy. Arya AND Maddie in a movie together? I’m in! This movie just made me smile for so many reasons.
Vettai establishes the dynamic between the brothers with a scene from their childhood. The older brother is actually timid and scared of everything. When a bully hits him, the two years younger brother comes to the rescue. Their father is a policeman, who then beats the younger son for getting in a fight. He stoically takes the blows silently while the older brother weeps and wails even though not a single blow touches him.
That dynamic continues to the present day. Madhavan who is physically large and imposing plays a very timid adult. He’s scared of violence and confrontation. His younger brother (Arya) is a rowdie, and quick to fight and intimidate anyone who threatens Maddie. Their policeman father suddenly dies, and by family tradition, Madhavan as the oldest son should take his father’s place. Arya convinces Madhavan that he should take their father’s job, the same one that their grandfather held. Maddie tries to get Arya to do it instead, but he has 4 charges against him.
At first Madhavan enjoys the stature his uniform gives him, but he doesn’t know what to do when a young girl is kidnapped by the local goons. He calls his brother Arya, who comes to the rescue.
Never underestimate the powers of disguise in a hoodie or a rain coat!
Madhavan gets the hero accolades, while Arya acts as his secret enforcer behind the scenes.
Interspersed with the action scenes, we have the romantic storyline. Arya meets a very assertive young woman (Sameera Reddy) when he accidentally knocks over her motor scooter. She turns out to be the young woman that their uncle wants to arrange a marriage with for Maddie. It was a nice fake out. Arya then is attracted to the younger shy sister (Amala Paul). The romantic scenes give a lot of comedy and sweetness to the movie, and some nice music numbers. I loved when Sameera’s character forces Arya to change his view of his brother, “Are you the older brother? You don’t even have a job. Don’t you think you should address him with respect?”
Things come to a head when Madhavan is badly beaten by the goon gang. As you can probably guess, Arya teaches him to release his inner lion. Cue training montage and action scenes.
This isn’t the greatest movie in the world, but it was entertaining and I loved the chemistry of Arya and Madhavan together as brothers. Madhavan was really, really great in all the scenes where he is the gentle timid sensitive giant. He has a great comic touch. In his native Tamil, I think he has an even greater comfort in playing comedy. I haven’t seen as many Arya movies. I’ve seen his action film Urumi, and I’ve seen his sweet romantic roles like Raja Rani and Size Zero. He carries most of the water in the romantic scenes in Vettai, and there’s a funny subplot with an NRI that is supposed to marry the sister Arya loves.
Three and a half stars out of five. Nice entertaining light action romantic comedy. Plus Arya and Madhavan dancing together! Who can ask for more than that?