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  • VELAYUTHAM - Review

    VELAYUTHAM:The film opens up in Pakistan with a blindfolded person being dragged by a few terrorists. He is brought to the leader of the gang and identified as the Home Minister of Tamil Nadu. Further plans are revealed when the gang strikes a hefty deal with him for planting a series of bombs in Chennai. Then happens a bomb explosion at a transportation bus in the city killing many innocent peoples. A group of three journalists, including Bharathi (Genelia D'Souza), commit to eradicating terrorism in the country after completing their Journalism course. One night, Bharathi and her two friends secretly film the illegal activities like creation of explosives and women trafficking happening in a secluded house. However, the journalists' presence is detected and their escape attempt results in the deaths of her friend and injury to Bharathi. But after the attack on Bharathi and her friends, the goon's vehicle explode due to a small mishap when a matchstick falls over petrol packets stored in the vehicle. Bharathi, already stabbed by one of the goons, comes up with a new idea to eradicate terrorism by creating a fictional character called Velayudham, and writes a note that he wants to clean up the city of bad guys before falling unconscious.
    Velayudham a.k.a Velu (Vijay) is a milk vendor in a village called Pavunoor, and he has a sister named Kaveri (Saranya Mohan) he loves and a cousin Vaidehi (Hansika Motwani) who is crazy about him. Though the brother and sister creates lot of trouble for the villagers, they are still adored by the villagers. They, along with a couple of village friends, arrive in Chennai to collect money from a chit fund for his sister's marriage, and somehow Speedu (Santhanam) gets part of their money. On chasing Speedu in a railway station, Vel uses a bike to catch him, and it explodes a few seconds later. Next few moments he inadvertently prevents few bomb blasts and helps catch terrorists, thus Velayudham becomes a sensation over time. He even manages to save Bharathi in one of the incidents which he never meant for it to happen.
    Velu is unaware of the consequences, later Bharathi realises Velu is the guy who has been accidentally doing the work of Velayudham. Bharathi meets him, explains and asks him to become the fictional character, however he refuses. Later Velu goes to draw cash from the chit fund but the company cheats him off his money and the people who are cheated vow that Velayudham will come as their saviour. Velu seeing this decides to take upon the avatar of Velayudham and starts to do eradicate certain evil that pertains within the society forms the crux of the last half of the movie.

    Vijay as Velayudham (Velu)
    Genelia D'Souza as Bharathi
    Hansika Motwani as Vaidhyalakshmi (Vaidehi)
    Saranya Mohan as Kaveri
    Santhanam as Speed
    Abhimanyu Singh as Musafir Ibrahim
    Vineet Kumar as Ulaganathan, the Home Minister
    Soori as Abdullah
    Pandi as Pandi
    Raaghav as Jai
    M. S. Bhaskar as Vaidehi's father
    Sayaji Shinde as M. Feroz Khan
    Pandiarajan as an Inspector
    Vincent Asokan as Ulaganathan's brother
    Rajendran as a Local Goon
    Manivannan as Rathnavelu, the Prime Minister
    Ilavarasu as a poor man
    Veera Samar as Hari, Bharathi's friend
    T.P. Gajendran as a Travelling Ticket Examiner
    Kadhal Dandapani
    Ajay as Ulaganathan's partner
    Singamuthu as Speed's father
    Vaiyapuri as Speed's brother
    Bonda Mani as a beggar
    Junaid Shaikh as Musafir Ibrahim's henchman
    O.A.K. Sundar as Kalidas
    Krishnamoorthy as a villager
    Siva Narayanamoorthy as a clothing store's owner
    Crane Manohar as a cinema's operator

    The film was launched on July 15, 2010 at the Madras University campus.[6] Genelia D'Souza who had acted opposite Vijay in Sachein was chosen for the role of a journalist,[7] and Hansika Motwani was chosen to portray Vijay's love interest,[8][9] while Saranya Mohan would play sister to Vijay's character.[10] Art director Veera Samar also was roped in to play a journalist.[11] While Santhanam and M. S. Baskar were chosen to play the comedy lead in the film,[12] Sayaji Shinde, Vineetkumar and Abhimanyu Singh were selected to play negative roles.[13] Tom Delmar, who had worked as a stunt coordinator in several Hollywood films, joined the crew to choreograph the stunts in the film.[14][15] Due to his commitment to Velayudham, Vijay almost lost his role in S. Shankar's Nanban. He had walked out of Nanban, since the two films demanded two completely different looks,[16] however, he joined the film later as the scenes involving the protagonist were reserved to be shot later.[17]
    Filming was carried out primarily at three locations, Southern Tamil Nadu, Kerala,[18] and the last schedule in Chennai.[19] A song sequence choreographed by Shobi that was originally to be shot in Switzerland was canned in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir,[20] with Genelia and Hansika filming alongside Vijay.[21] A stunt sequence was shot on a train moving on a bridge at Rayagada in Orissa under Tom Delmar's supervision,[22] while another fight sequence was filmed at Golconda fort, Hyderabad.[23] The film's dubbing was done in Four Frames Recording Studio in Chennai.[24]
    It has been widely reported to be a remake of the 2000 Telugu film Azad that starred Soundarya as a journalist and Akkineni Nagarjuna as a villager, incidentally the roles essayed by Genelia and Vijay, respectively.[7][25] However, director M. Raja claimed that it was not a remake but his own story.[26] He later admitted that Azad served as the inspiration and that he had penned a new screenplay.[22][27] Notably, Vijay had signed up to appear in a village action story titled Velan in 2001 to be directed by Thirupathisamy, the director of Azad, which was postponed indefinitely after the death of the director. Raja told his cast that it was inspired by Azad and requested them to not watch the original.[28] Post the film's release, Raja said that his brother Jayam Ravi had help him in improving the script.[29]