In 2018, Pandiraj’s Karthi-starrer Kadaikutty Singham set the cash registers ringing when it extended its successful run in the B and C centers of Tamil Nadu. Family entertainers in rural settings have become rarer in Kollywood these days and that’s a factor the film had cashed upon. Buoyed by its mammoth success, Pandiraj is back with another family drama that’s set in a village, Namma Veetu Pillai starring Siva Karthikeyan in the lead.
The film revolves around the brother-sister bond between Arumponn (Sivakarthikeyan) and Thulasi (Aishwarya Rajesh). They live a jolly life along with their mother, with a plethora of relatives who also live in the same area. As is the case with most joint families that don’t stay together, there are plenty of ego clashes too. A series of events lead Arum to get his sister married to Ayyanar (Natarajan), despite the two nursing a rivalry between them.
The film deals with how Arum manages to get out of this mess. So, what’s there in this film that we haven’t seen before in other Kollywood family dramas? Nothing really. In fact, the film is a twin brother of Kadaikutty Singham in many ways, given the premise and the squabbles in a large family. Also, the grandfather-grandson bond is eerily similar (Bharathiraja dons the role of the patriarch here).
Pandiraj, who has also written the script, packs in all the required ingredients for such a genre. There’s drama (which goes melodramatic at times), a poorly written romance and the fine brother-sister equation that’s the heartbeat of the film. Siva Karthikeyan is in his elements as the family man who has unconditional love for his sister. Aishwarya Rajesh is a delight with her spontaneous act and the duo’s chemistry brightens up many mundane sequences.
Veteran Bharathiraja aces his role with ease and Samuthrakani in a cameo also looks the part. The only other artist who has substantial screen time is Natarajan, who shines as the protagonist’s irritable brother-in-law. His altercations with Siva Karthikeyan are a plus to the film’s proceedings. In terms of storyline, events and characters, there isn’t anything new but Pandiraj knows how to make things work with the family audience.
On the technical side, Nirav Shah’s cinematography captures the colorful tones of the village quite perfectly. The film also has reasonably good music from Imman who is generally a master in this genre with his songs and background score. The Enga Annan song featuring Siva Karthikeyan and Aishwarya Rajesh was the pick of the lot, in terms of music and visuals. The BGMs in this film though, aren’t as fresh and seem formulaic.
With the industry moving forward through content-oriented films and urban/semi-urban themed films, there aren’t many who produce village-centric entertainers these days. This is a genre that has a loyal audience, especially among women and families. Earlier this year, Ajith’s Viswasam (which went on to become the actor’s biggest hit) was another film that had a rural setting.
Namma Veetu Pillai is down on novelty and treatment, with a lot of clichés. Yet, the film has enough going in its favor to please the section of audience that they’re trying to woo. It’s a classic case of Pandiraj knowing what exactly he wants to achieve. If you are someone who digs soapy family dramas, this could be for you.