Vasool Raja MBBS
PLAUSIBILITY HAS no place in Gemini Film Circuit's "Vasool Raja MBBS" but that in no way hampers its entertainment value. In fact, it aids it. The first half, in particular, is a racy laugh riot, with its palatable share of sentiment.
To begin with " Vasool Raja ... " is a crisper version of "Munna Bhai MBBS." If that's a positive aspect, it's also a negative. Because in the bargain sequences tend to end abruptly. Before you could finish enjoying a scene (like Kamal's sozzled refrain about the humiliation his parents had to suffer at Prakash Raj's house) or just as you get absorbed in the performance (like the hero's helpless emotional outburst at the death of the cancer patient, Zaheer) the scene is cut short. Such close cropping of scenes hinders the viewer from getting involved in the happenings. Saran is the director and Suresh Urs, the editor.
Calling the bluff
Rajaraman (Kamal Hassan) is a kind-hearted don. The entire gang is absolutely loyal to him. Vaddi (Prabhu) is his associate and confidant. Raja, who ran away from home early, returns to his parents' fold telling them that he is now a qualified doctor. The proud father Venkatraman (a wonderful portrayal by Nagesh) and loving mother (Rohini Hattangadi has come down all the way for the three-scene role!) receive the jolt of their lives when Dr. Viswanath (Prakash Raj) calls Raja's bluff. To get back at the man who so cruelly exposes him Raja decides to become a doctor. What the hero wills, the hero does. So by means all foul, Raja becomes a student of medicine.
An appreciable line of humaneness that runs through the entire character of the hero blends beautifully with his humorous side. And, as expected, Kamal comes out with a captivating show. Completely at ease in the "Madras" lingo, Kamal who has mastered the diction and modulation of the slang to perfection, since he first tried it out in "Sattam En Kaiyil" a couple of decades ago, has you in splits. The actor, however, appears to have put on weight. And while on the subject, Prabhu has lost some flab, albeit slightly. Reminded of the excellent footwork and histrionics that he displayed along with Kamal in "Vetri Vizha" and the impressive portrayal he is capable of, you can only say that Prabhu should not throw it all away for as manageable a reason as rotundity. Somehow Arshad Warsi made a better impact in "Munnabhai ... " The same goes for Prakash Raj. As the eccentric doc he is good. But Bomman Irani, you feel, shone better. Probably that's the bane of a re-make. Sneha looks dignified and radiant. With costume that becomes her, she emerges as an apt choice.
Two of the smaller characters who make their presence felt are `Kaakka' Radhakrishnan as the carom playing oldie and Jayasurya as the cancer patient. Of these Radhakrishnan, with his totally natural essay, outsmarts the old man in the original by leaps and bounds.
Typical `Crazy' touches ("Manamirundhal Margabandhu ... " is an example) are evident in Mohan's dialogue but not as many as you would normally find. Composer Bharadwaj has resorted to an appealing classical format in the "Paththukkulae ... " song. The use of veena bits for the item number "Cheena Thaana ... " is surprising, yet aurally pleasing. The re-recording however is often loud. "Kaadu Thirandhae ... " (a soothing melody by Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam) comes accompanied by a little of Madurai Mani Iyer's English notes. This and "Azhwar Pettai ... " make one take cognisance of the lyricist Vairamuthu ... no wonder then. Despite the typical costume, choreographer Dinesh's reasonably graceful movements for the "Cheena Thaana" song stand out. A. Venkatesh's camera offers a visual treat of foreign locations.
When a flick is remade comparisons are inevitable. And generally the original would invariably seem better. It is so with "Vasool Raja ... " too, though not entirely.
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