Directed by Andrew Louis, Vadhandhi: The Fable of Velonie is a layered investigative thriller about sexual violence, character assassination, and the aftermath of rumours. With her brilliant performances, Velonie shows how society judges women.
Velonie (Sanjana) is a teenager and has had a traumatic childhood. One day, a film crew finds his mortal remains in an open area where they were supposed to film. At first, the film crew and the police mistake Velonie for actress Mamta. But they soon realize it’s Velonie. When the Madurai court takes suo moto, SP (Superintendent of Police) Vivek is appointed to investigate the murder. But this work is not so simple. After many twists and turns, Vivek finally catches the killer. But is he satisfied that he was able to solve the case and get justice for Veloni’s murder?
Director Andrew Lewis did his best to break the tension immediately. We are immersed in the world of Vadhandhi where we feel sorry for Veloni who is brutally murdered. Her post-mortem report states that she was not raped. But after his death, the media became so filthy that his work was talked about. According to Vivek, Velonie did not find happiness while she was alive and even after her death she suffers because of the character assassination.
Some of the dialogues in the show are perfect for the show and the community. In one scene, Vivek says that ‘truth always travels and rumors fly.’ This is true not only for the show but also in real life. Velonie becomes a victim of fake news and isn’t even alive to defend her.
Every episode ends with a cliffhanger and the show manages to hold our attention the most. However, the show gets a bit tiresome around episode 5. Many subplots are left for the audience to guess. So after a point it becomes difficult to keep up with the plot. Also, towards the end, the show becomes predictable.
However, Andrew Louis should be applauded for addressing issues such as bad parenting, trauma, sexual abuse, and loopholes in the police and justice system.
Vandhandhi is full of brilliant performances by SJ Suryah and Sanjana. They keep us engaged with their character arcs and we want to know what happens to them. This is probably where the success of the show lies. As a serious mother, Leyla has a role with many shades. Her performance made us buy her innocence. Time and time again Vivek Prasanna is simply the best in every role he plays. Also, Aruvi Balaji’s role deserves a special mention.
Vandhandhi could have worked better if it was a bit shorter. Each episode was about 50 minutes long and so it was difficult to watch in one go.