Kamal hassan plays a character called Raghavan, who gets these hunches. His intuition that guides him, bridges the small distance that logical deduction leaves him short of. He runs 9 steps based on deduction and classic police work. The 1 step that he falls short of, his instinct takes him there. Sometimes his intincts make him look good and sometimes it kills off his partners. But he puts it on the line everytime and the movie runs on that extra step, he takes based on his instincts. This is a slow, methodical and patient movie. It takes you through the leg work that Raghavan does to find the dead bodies of the victims. He talks to the STD booth fellow and the beggar to find the direction and vehicle in which the victim was kidnapped. He then calculates the difference from the time the victim was kidnapped till the time the post mortem pronounced her dead. 30 minutes. He drives for 30 minutes in that road that she was kidnapped, takes the only left turn available, confirms that the vehicle carrying the victim was brought there from eye witness accounts. Follows the tracks of the said 'red maruthi van' till it stops. So he is almost there. Logic and simple legwork has taken him there. Then the famous Raghavan instinct tips him over to the dead body. The small distance. The second instance where he fishes out 4 more dead bodies was simply an extension of his first experience, which he euphemistically calls as 'instinct'.
This is the kind of movie V V is. It literally means 'Hunt and Play'. Raghavan 'hunts', while a serial killer on prowl 'plays'. He plays by killing and planting the finger of the victim in front of the victim's house. Raghavan hunts and hunts as the games get more personal. It is a patient movie of deduction and method unlike its predecessor Kaakha Kaakha which was more emotional and instictive. The difference was that Kaakha Kaakha was something you could relate to. It grabbed you by the heart and smashed your head to pieces. There was no way you could not get involved. VV is like its lead character, Raghavan, detached and cold. You dont empathize or get involved as much. The character development is so lacking in this movie. You could almost smell who ACP Anbuselvam was. Here, Raghavan doesnt grow on you. However, I found no glaring logical flaws in this movie. There were certain cinematic liberties (Raghavan could have brought more cops in the end as back up but it wouldn't have altered the ending much) but nothing I would call illogical. The only flaw is that this movie is released after Kaakha Kaakha. The way the villian character is sketched is similar way (but less explained and not as well developed as Pandya), names ring a bell and well some aspects of the hostage situation involving Jyotika is similar. Some of the scenes in second half have been rushed through like KK. But these similaarities are superficial and the differences between the two movies are more.
Kaakha Kaakha used extensively what I found Altman and Guy Ritchie use. In that they compacted a lot of events with quick cuts. This way they told a lot of the story in very short time. It was fast and looked slick. Both these movies (VV & KK) have been edited to a level that just stops short of making them look like photo slide shows. A frame does not extend more than 4-5 seconds. The quick cuts are blended wonderfully and appear in a cool slick way. Antony the editor who was introduced in KK also shows his signature morph-merge kinds of edits in 'chikki mukki' like the way he showed in 'sutrum vizhi sudar' in Gajini. One frame merges into the next frame and the actors assume different postures in different backgrounds and a morphing effect is produced during that transformation. This happens very fast and blends with the music and make editing appear like an art similar to choreography. 'Chikki Mukki' was the best picturized song in this movie. A movie which was quite irritatingly flippant with the picturization in the first half. Harris Jeyaraj and the Italian choir group in 'manjal veyil' (the best song) and the side-screen for the bike ride in the Unnimenon Song (second best) was plain funny. The songs in the second half looked way better than the first half. But I liked the continuation of the sober colors and the minimal contrast theme that began in Kaakha Kaakha.
I had high epectations from the movie and hyped it in my blog. I love doing it and will continue to do it for movies that I think have the billing. Frankly I was pissed off with Kamal Hassan doing crappy movie like MBBS, Thenali or Panchatantram. I was literally begging for a 'different' movie from Kamal Hassan and who better to deliver than Gautham. It would be an understatement to say I was a tad biased towards liking this movie and consequently any praise for VV in this space would be less surprising. However, I cant bring myself to critisize it just to appear balanced. Because that would be incorrect and unfair. I liked the movie. It is not a Nayagan. Its not a Hey Ram, Iruvar or a path breaking Kaakha Kaakha. But its a damn good movie. It doesnt get overawed by the presence of foriegn actors and shows them like normal actors instead of slobbering all over them. I cant believe they shot NYC so well. But its no surprise that this movie is technically sound. Its slick and Kamal Hassan brings in a subtlety thats just perfect. I wondered why he was needed for this movie and someone said why not? True. He is the best actor, I have come across in India. I wouldn't have spent so much effort for anybody else. What can one say? He underplays the role to the right level. If somebody asked for a slightly overaged 'kazhabolt' cop, who was measured, methodical and was in every bit as human as his instincts, Kamal Hassan delivered that on a platter. Kamalini Mukherjee joins Ambiga(Vikram), Amala (Vetri Vizha), Rani Mukherjee(Hey Ram) as the wife who dies and Jyotika joins Preethi, Vasundra Das et all to become Kamal's second love interest. I know that Jyotika's character sketch from Seattle to NYC to Chennai is 'real' and very close to Gautham's heart :-) He deems it fit to use this story here in VV than dedicate a whole movie for it, which it deserves. Its his choice.
Manirathnam, Kamal Hassan and now Gautham are trapped in a world where they get whistles when the title credit shows their name. The expectations are so high that it can rarely be met. It is a curse they have to live with. One thing is sure, this movie doesnt seem like one that was beset with problems from the beginning. If it does then I cant imagine what the problem-free delivery would have looked like.