'Varun Doctor' has arrived at theatres in both Telugu and Tamil. Is it worth a watch? Let's find out.
Dr Varun (Sivakarthikeyan), a military doctor, is a stickler for rules. While he is mistaken to be lacking in emotional intelligence, he is more human than others. He loves Mini (Priyanka Arul Mohan), whose school-going niece Chinnu gets kidnapped. When the police system betrays its indifference, Varun comes up with an incredible idea. He wants to defeat the human traffickers who have kidnapped Chinnu at their own game by staging a kidnap. In this, he takes the help of Mini and her family, a kidnapper named Prathap (Yogi Babu), a constable (Redin Kingsley), and a couple of other unlikely characters. Will Varun succeed in his mission?
Sivakarthikeyan, after debuting in Telugu with 'Kousalya Krishnamoorthy', is not a popular Kollywood hero in Telugu. It's apt that 'Varun Doctor' is essentially a comedy and not an action film. There are no over-the-top stunts here. And Sivakarthikeyan is absolutely confident in this film, considering that his characterization and ideas evoke laughs and he doesn't do overt comedy. Priyanka Arul Mohan of 'Gang Leader' fame looks the part. She is not conscious and that's an improvement from her first movie. More than the antagonist played by Vinay Rai, Yogi Babu and Redin Kingsley keep us hooked. The former is consistently funny. Ilavarasu, Milind Soman and Raghu Ram fit the bill.
Music director Anirudh Ravichander dishes out awesome background music. Since the songs have been chopped off, one has to judge his talent by the BGM in the case of this film. Vijay Karthik Kannan's cinematography makes the visuals feel rich. The indoor scenes are adequate. Since the backdrop of the story shifts to Goa in the second half, the visual feel is special.
The director of this movie, Nelson Dilipkumar, has previously made 'Kolamavu Kokila' in Tamil. Like that Nayanthara-starrer, 'Varun Doctor' too is a dark comedy crime film. While the latest box office release has been described as an actioner by many, it is a crime comedy more than an action comedy.
The initial portions set the tone for the rest of the film. The male protagonist is a man of very few words. The heroine is shown to insult his suspected lack of empathy deliberately in the first act. As the story progresses, the characterization of Dr. Varun evolves and takes the film to the next level.
The film is credible and offers plenty of engrossing moments up to a point. After a point, though, the scenes are not funny enough. The humour quotient fades out. The jokes don't land. If they work, it's only because of the performances. Yogi Babu manages to save a lot of scenes.
A dissatisfaction is that the hero's character doesn't look strong enough in some portions, for Dr. Varun doesn't talk much. It's not like he should be delivering punchlines, but there should be something else to make him feel like a livewire? The Telugu version doesn't have songs and that also reduces the screen time for which Sivakarthikeyan is around.
Since the film is not a thriller, the Goa backdrop is fine for the comedy scenes. But the villain's character is too weak and the proceedings lack believability for the same reason.
'Varun Doctor' is a dark comedy with a crime at its centre. An engaging first half and an okayish second half make it a watchable movie.