Produced by Think Big Studios, Vanamagan establishes its turf right from the title, the font and the way Jayam Ravi is portrayed as an aboriginal who has no contact with the contemporary world. Director AL Vijay has done his part by preparing the audience of what they are about to watch and everything that you see inside the theater comes as no surprise but would put a slight smile on your face.

The underlying theme of Vanamagan is to preserve environment and not lose humanity in the quest for technology. When Sayyeshaa and her gang of friends stumble upon Jayam Ravi in the tough forests of Andaman, they decide to bring him back to Chennai to treat his wounds. While she tries her best to make him understand civilization, the tribal guy named Vasi instead imparts a lot of knowledge on humanity, being helpful and family values.

Things take a twist when Jayam Ravi is arrested by the Andaman police and taken back to the forest where his tribal group eagerly awaits his arrival. They are in a dire situation where a corporate company tries to eradicate them and take over the forest. Sayyeshaa joins him in this quest against the multi-national corporate.

The handsome and strict police officer of Thani Oruvan is long gone as Jayam Ravi has put his heart and soul into the movie to make us believe he’s a tribal man. He has succeeded to a great extent and manages to easily convey emotions with no dialogs at all. Sayyeshaa gets the best debut a heroine could get and without her composed looks, Vanamagan wouldn’t be complete. Thambi Ramaiah is at his usual bet and his one liners make the audience laugh their heart out at times. There’s Prakash Raj who does his part with ease.

Director AL Vijay has handled subtle ways of delivering his social message rather than making it preachy which makes the film a fun watch, especially in the first half. Cinematography by Thirunavukarasu and stunt Silva’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Above all, Harris Jayaraj delivers his career best yet again with Yemma Alagamma, a heartwarming melody and equally impressive background score.

When the story is based on tribals and corporates, comparisons with films like Avatar is inevitable. Vanamagan has its fair share of slowdowns when the film loses its pace in the second half and has very little focus on the issue natives face but more on the lead pair’s love affair. Director Vijay has brought the best of entertainment and thought provoking real life scenarios for the entire family making it worth a visit to theaters this weekend.

Thumbs Up

·         Jayam Ravi’s dedication to his role, be it the stunts or acting in every scene without dialogs makes him a true Vanamagan.

·         Sayyeshaa, the debut heroine who’s not only pretty but an able actress who’s performance is sure to bring her more attention from many directors.

·         Thambi Ramaiah’s one liners and comedic timing is impeccable.

·         Harris Jayaraj’s BGM, songs and the stunt sequences

Thumbs Down

·         The movie’s second half loses pace and doesn’t focus on the main storyline as it should have

·         The run time could definitely be cut down for a crisp movie watching experience.

Verdict – A social message bundled in an entertaining package.