Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie Series Review
Filmmaker Andrew Louis’ filmography might comprise not more than a couple of movies – Leelai and Kolaigaaran, which have a long hiatus between them, but they have established his directorial proficiency in various aspects. And now, with a similar sabbatical gap, he is here with ‘Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie Series’. The 8-Episode series streaming on Amazon Prime Video features SJ Suryah, Sanjana, and Laila as the titular characters and is presented by Pushkar-Gayathri, who earlier delivered a groovy series titled ‘Suzhal’.
When a young beautiful Anglo-Indian teen Velonie (Sanjana) is found mysteriously dead in the wide landscape of windmills, her disfigured face leaves everyone shocked and clueless about her identity. Sooner, the cops crack her identity, and her mother (Laila), a widow is pushed to the extremity of pathos. A novelist (Nasser) knows the hidden pages of Velonie’s life, but still, the reason behind her murder remains a mystery. Sub-Inspector Vivek (SJ Suryah) is assigned to solve the mystery but succumbs to the calamitous system. During the process, he gets more attached to the deceased Velonie, and after a certain extent, gets addicted to the process of finding the Killer despite the higher officials closing the case.
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues & Direction
Andrew Louis’ clarity and conception of premise, strikingly captivating characterizations, storytelling, and the way, he unties the knot is tremendous. Having cited ‘From The Creators of Suzhal’, one might incline to the comparisons, which actually would leave you disappointed. Vadhandhi is different in all aspects from Suzhal, except the fact that both protagonists are police officers in search of the killer. Vadhandhi is more like a novel, which takes you for a visual reading from the setting the ambiance, the gushing winds of the hillside trees, the haunting darkness of forests and vintage-styled lodge followed by the mysteries of the land, the perplexities of the protagonist. On the flip side, there are a few moments, where one might feel, the sequences are stretched out and slightly steps out of the realism, but that doesn’t hamper the impact.
The series holds special mention for having the powerhouse talents like SJ Suryah, Nasser, and Laila, and the special inclusion is Sanjana. During the initial moments, the audience, especially men would fall in love with Velonie, pinched by the fantasies, and then, her first encounter with the novelist, you might get bitten by assumptions, and finally, a piece of heavy emotional baggage by the end. She is the soul of this series, and Sanjana does it gracefully. There are a couple of scenes – One with Nasser, and another one with the stranger. Just imagine an actress delivering so many emotions in almost soliloquy styled facing the camera. SJ Suryah has soaked into the character of Vivek. One might expect his signature now and then, but he completely sticks to the vision of director Andrew Louis. Yes, there is one particular scene, where he unleashes his stroke – Getting boozed amidst a complex situation and expressing his pain and affinity for deceased Velonie to his wife (played by Smruthi Venkat). Nasser as a novelist comes up with a commendable performance. He is a genius, and yet again proves it with his natural spell. His encounters with SJ Suryah during the moments before the climax point during a book reading session are stunning. Vivek Prasanna is the refreshing factor here. He is a Dr. Watson here. There are lots of tense sequences between him and SJ Suryah, but guess what hits high? The scene, where he comes to pick up SJ Suryah across the red-soiled deserted land and both smile at each other… Laila’s innocence is yet another emblazonment to the tale. Smruthi Venkat’s character has nothing to directly deal with the premise, but still, her performance is appreciable. Vaibhav Murugesan and Ashwin Kumar have done their roles with the perfect touch. Hareesh Peraadi as chief editor remains so close to his character.
Cinematography is the biggest embellishment that endorses the picturesque visuals, which at the same time, gives an eerie rush to the gigantic windmills, rushing winds, and dark-capped forests. Simon K King’s musical score is commendable.
On whole, Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie takes its time to brew up the inquisitiveness in you. With the central character ‘Velonie’ defined by various characters, we start traveling with the same mindset as SI Vivek and gradually get inclined to the mysteries. If a few episodes were tweaked a bit, it would have raised the bars of raciness to a great extent. But for now, it’s appreciable work by the entire team.
Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie Series Review
Verdict: Takes it time to establish the premise, and later gets you addicted to Velonie and her mysteries.