Vanayutham is a biopic based on the life of the controversial forest sandalwood smuggler Veerappan who escaped the eyes of police departments of two states – Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for almost two decades. The movie has been directed by A M R Ramesh, which went into a long time facing various troubles since it deals with a very sensitive issue. Due to many issues, the filmmaker has lost his creative freedom and the result is seen in an unfortunate way on screen. The movie would have been better if the director had got what he wanted on screen, unlike its present form, which looks like a semi documentary.
Vanayutham traces the life of Veerappan (Kishore) since his rise in the forest circles of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka border. The movie shows how he manages to escape from the police departments of two states and also portrays his fall and how police officer Vijayakumar (Arjun) nails him down in a well planned trap. The movie, although features important incidents like the kidnap of Kannada actor Rajkumar and so on, it misses to show the love life of Veerappan, which involves the character Muthulakshmi.
The first half of Vanayutham has no interesting chasing elements but simply reveals the character Veerappan and his rise to become one of the dreaded smugglers. Since the filmmaker had to convince the police department and the political influences, many cuts have been made, which makes the first half very close to a documentary.
The second half looks interesting however with the character of police inspector Vijayakumar occupying more screen space. The thrill of how Veerappan gets caught in the trap of Vijayakumar is what makes the second half watchable as many do not know the real incidents that happened.
Kishore as Veerappan has done a promising portrayal and Arjun has done his part perfectly. However, due to heavy cuts in the movie, it does not cross the border of an average flick!