Vada Chennai is a Tamil action-crime film written and directed by Vetri Maaran. The movie features Dhanush, Aishwarya Rajesh and Andrea Jeremiah in the lead roles.

Dhanush as Anbu is a carrom board player who lives in North Madras. Due to tough situations, he crosses paths with gangsters leading to a colossal battle. What happens in his life post that forms the crux of the story.

The film draws us into its world at the very beginning as the feel of the narrative is exceptionally authentic. Not only the picturization, but even small mannerisms of every supporting minor artiste in the background have been presented with a lot of passion. The cuss words that flow freely throughout only add to the authenticity of the film and one requires solid guts to deliver such a product without muting or beeping the foul language lines. Director Vetri Maaran has woven a story around certain true incidents that happened in North Madras and tells his tale with a ‘Tarantino’ style of execution. Umpteen dark facts happening all around us everyday pepper the plot, while the detailing of coastal areas and the people who live there is noteworthy.

Director Vetri Maaran strikes gold as every nook and corner of his script has his audience riveted. He has smartly materialized this exceptionally long story into three different parts. The structure is extremely refreshing as many stereotypes are broken and surprise elements hit us like a bolt of lightning at frequent intervals. The movie is air-tight and never drops its pace as the situations propel the story forward and establish the characters with fine layers. The narrative nuances enlighten the experience. Dialogues are fired up with loads of energy and yet stay real. The interlinked connections provide goosebumps. However, many dialogues seem to have been improvised during the dubbing sessions, which seems a little odd.

Dhanush has a variety of shades in the film and he beautifully fits into all the time-periods as he has outperformed himself as the flow progresses. Dhanush has literally lived as ‘Anbu’ with his splendid performance and he does not seem like a star on screen. Ameer as Rajan plays a key role in the flashback and his characterization has been brilliantly portrayed on screen. Aishwarya Rajesh and Andrea appear with convincing purposes and their performances are satisfying too. That said, their dialogues in 'Madras slang' are monotonous. Supporting characters like those of Samuthirakani, Kishore, Daniel Balaji, Radha Ravi, and others have been strongly built. The film proceeds even in the character-driven direction at places. The depth in every single soul present on screen is astonishing.

With no wonder, this epic saga is technically sound too. Almost all the songs of Santhosh Narayanan are fulfilling and have been placed well in the flow. The background score blows your mind during crucial situations while overall the music of the film adds a grim, menacing tone to the raging gangsterism of the plot. Cinematographer R. Velraj has outperformed himself, contributing his career-best cinematography work in this film as his frames craftily convey the story. Runtime being close to three hours, the context has been served as a delightful package and the editors are also an important reason for the tight grip. They have also understood the ‘Trilogy’ factor and handled things accordingly.

The costumes, hair-style and appearances are apt for different time-periods that are showcased. The art department’s hard work is evident in the jail and port sets as the team has elevated the visual quality by bringing laudable consistency. The stunt choreography is stunningly real and the action scenes have been approached in a raw manner which has paid off as the fight sequences carry high-level intensity.