After saving the world from a nuclear attack in Vivegam (2017), Ajith Kumar leaps back to the rescue in Viswasam, his fourth collaboration with director Siva. Unlike the global nature of the mission in Vivegam, Kumar’s character has a seemingly modest task in Viswasam: to safeguard his wife and daughter. How complicated can this be? Very – and it’s a mission that takes long. too (the movie clocks in at a bottom-numbing 152 minutes).
In Viswasam, Ajith’s bushy moustache and wondrous veshti come in handy ever so often. Set in Koduvilarpatti village near Madurai, Viswasam stars Kumar as Dorai, a rice mill owner with an insatiable appetite for violence. Dorai uses his fists more than his brain, which gets him into trouble with his wife Niranjana (Nayanthara), a Mumbai-bred doctor. But Viswasam isn’t a marital drama. Siva puts the conflict between Dorai and Niranjana on the back-burner and suddenly shifts focus to a new sub-plot with a new villain: Jagapati Babu’s real-estate tycoon Gautam Veer, who is driven by a rather bizarre motivation to wreak havoc on the lives of Dorai and family.
The conflict between Dorai and Niranjana is actually far more engaging than Dorai’s battle with Veer, which kicks in a little too late and never quite gathers steam. The focus on Veer sidelines Nayanthara’s strong-willed character and makes Viswasam yet another entertainer dedicated to its A-list male star’s omnipotence.
From the comic portions to the emotional upheavals, everything in Viswasam is exaggerated and excessive. The over-the-topness extends to Dorai’s sidekicks, played by Robo Shankar, Yogi Babu, Thambi Ramayya, Vivek and Kovai Sarala. As Dorai, Ajith is flamboyant too, but his high-voltage charm somewhat keeps the rambling saga on course.
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