Actor Soori used to bore me to death in his recent movies. But guess what? Vetrimaaran has unleashed the hidden beast in him, and he has nailed it in Viduthalai Part 1. You can’t miss his stellar performance in this movie. It’s a familiar tale of Naxalites fighting for the oppressed against the cruel cops, but with an engaging screenplay that keeps you hooked. The only downside is that they left us hanging for a sequel. Come on, guys, don’t be lazy and wrap it up in one go!

Kumaresan is a cop who drives around and does his driver’s job with a pure heart. He’s sweet and brave, clueless and stubborn. He’s not your typical hero, but he’s a hero, nonetheless. And Soori makes you believe it. He was a gem in this role. No other star could’ve pulled it off like him in being convincing and innocent. Bhavani Sre plays his love interest, a tribal girl who’s fierce and loyal. She’s a perfect fit for the role.

Vijay Sethupathi plays Perumal “Vaathiyaar”, a Naxalite leader who doesn’t break a sweat. He’s good, but we’ve seen him do better. He didn’t wow me in Part 1. But Chetan was a surprise. He plays a nasty cop who’s rotten to the core. He made me hate him with every scene. Maestro Illaiyaraaja‘s music was a treat for the ears. He gave life to the scenes with his background score and his songs were catchy and soulful.

To me, the police interrogation scenes of the ladies were unnecessarily gruesome in their depiction – they may be true representations of events but were exaggerated to compensate for the lack of freshness in the story. Similarly, the mistreatment of a junior by a senior officer was not as effective as they were in a recent Police movie, Taanakkaran (2022). I hope Part 2, if and when it comes will be better.

Update: After a week, I upgraded the rating I gave for this film to Ripe. The reason for the change was the film had affected me more than I thought and was fresh in my memory, even after a week.

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