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Vidudala Part 1 Review: Gripping But Raw

Vidudala Part 1 Review: Gripping But Raw

Movie: Vidudala Part 1
Rating: 2.75/5
RS Infotainment, Grass Root Film Company
Cast: Soori, Vijay Sethupathi, Bhavani Sre, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Rajiv Menon, Balaji Sakthivel, and others
Music: Ilayaraja
Editor: R.Ramar
Art: Jacki
Stunt: Peter Hein / Stun Siva
Directed by: Vetri Maaran
Release Date: April 15, 2023

Vetri Maaran is one of the prominent filmmakers in the Tamil film industry, and his films consistently receive critical acclaim. His latest film, “Viduthalai Part 1,” has been dubbed into Telugu as “Vidudala Part 1.” 

Let's analyze it.

Following the deadly train bombing, the police launch 'Operation Ghost Hunt' to nab Perumal, the leader of the Praja Dalam. Although the group denies responsibility for the bombing, the police and government believe they are the perpetrators.

A corporate group intends to establish a mining company in a hilly region of Tamilnadu state, and the Praja Dalam has been opposing it and fighting for people's rights.

As the operation begins, a new recruit in the police force, Constable Kumaresh (Soori), is assigned to the Police Company that is searching for Perumal.

Kumaresh is a good-natured man who believes that police should work for the people and assists the villagers. When he helps an elderly woman get to the hospital, her granddaughter Paapa (Bhavani) develops feelings for him, and they gradually fall in love.

Kumaresh's good conscience leads him to question the police's inhumane practices. Paapa, along with other villagers, is also brought in for interrogation.

How far will Kumaresh go to save his girlfriend?

Artistes’ Performances:
Soori, who is best known for his comedic roles in Tamil films, shines as an earnest constable in this film. He is absolutely brilliant and delivers a performance that is both innocent and heroic, making him the main highlight of the movie.

Vijay Sethupathi does not appear in much of the film, but his story may gain prominence in the sequel, and he still has his massy moments.

Balaji Shaktivel, who plays a brutal high-ranking police officer, gives a convincing performance, and Gautham Menon and Rajiv Menen are excellent choices for their roles.

Bhavani Sre, who plays Soori's love interest, also makes an impression.

Technical Excellence:
The film is equally strong in terms of technical aspects. The camera work is superb, and the drone shots of the forest are particularly impressive. The train wreck single-shot sequence is masterful, and the action sequences in the climax are brilliantly shot. The work of the fight master in the final fight is outstanding.

The music of Maestro Ilayaraja is also good, with the first romantic song standing out in particular. The background music enhances the mood.

Soori’s performance
Interesting way of setting the story
Last fight sequence

Torture scenes hard to watch
Inconsistency in the second half

Vetri Maaran's films have won numerous national awards due to his distinct style of highlighting the stories of marginalized communities, documenting police brutality, and exposing power abuse. His most recent film, "Asuran," was remade in Telugu as "Naarappa," so some Telugu audiences are familiar with his narrative style.

"Vidudala" is the first installment of the story, which takes place in 1987 in Tamil Nadu.

The first section of this story provides a proper character arc for the protagonist by telling the story from the perspective of a constable. The movie hooks us from the beginning with a train derailment, and Vetri Maaran makes his mark by using a documentary style to construct the drama.

Vetri Maaran focuses on the procedural aspects, so we see how the police send meals to various officers doing their duties in rough terrain and hills, even though the story seems somewhat like the regular clash of police versus Maoists or revolutionary groups.

A lot of the interrogation techniques and egos of high-ranking officers are on display as well. The film's first half is riveting, but the second half is not in the same league. There are too many disturbing scenes of torture, including police officers exposing and assaulting naked women. Furthermore, once the existence of such police torture is established, it should not have been repeated.

But that is Vetri Maaran’s style. He depicts police torture and abuse of power in a raw and realistic way, which is sometimes hard to watch on screen.

“Vidudala” ends with a glimpse of the second part, which reveals that we will be seeing more from Vijay Sethupathi.

On the whole, “Vidudala” is a typical Vetri Maaran film that has equal portions of gritty and gripping moments and some brutal scenes that are hard to watch. It is a film that appeals to those who like realistic dramas, but not for everyone.

Bottom line: Gritty


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