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From action thrillers to romantic movies: 5 Gautham Vasudev Menon films you can catch over the weekend

Available on YouTube, ZEE5 and Prime Video, these films feature Dhanush, Kamal Haasan, Suriya, Trisha, Jyothika and Silambarasan

Saikat Chakraborty Calcutta Published 25.02.23, 05:22 PM
 A still from Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (2022).

A still from Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (2022). IMDb

Mushy romantic dramas, sleek police thrillers, macabre gangster dramas — you name the kind of movie you like and Gautham Vasudev Menon has made it. The prolific filmmaker has never looked back since coming into limelight with his 2001 Tamil romantic drama Minnale and its Hindi remake Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, both starring R. Madhavan in the lead role, in the same year.

As Menon has turned 50 today, we pick five of his most popular Tamil films that you can watch on YouTube, ZEE5 and Amazon Prime Video.


Kaakha Kaakha (2003)

Starring Suriya, Jyothika and Jeevan in lead roles, this 2003 blockbuster paved the way for Menon to experiment with crime thrillers. In Kaakha Kaakha, Suriya plays Anbuselvan — a fearless IPS officer who works in an elite encounter unit of Chennai police. He falls in love with a school teacher called Maya (Jyothika). But the couple soon become the target of a violent gangster Pandiya (Jeevan) who wants to avenge his brother’s death by killing the person closest to the cop.

Riding on Kaakha Kaakha’s success, Menon remade the film in Telugu the next year as Gharshana. It was again remade in Hindi as Force (2010), which was helmed by Nishikant Kamat.

Watch it on: YouTube

Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006)

The 2006 neo-noir action crime thriller Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu stars Kamal Haasan in the lead role alongside Jyothika, Kamalinee Mukherjee, Prakash Raj, Daniel Balaji and Salim Baig. The film chronicles a middle-aged IPS officer named Raghavan (Haasan) looking into the murder of a colleague’s daughter. The investigation leads him to New York. He gets involved in a cat-and-mouse chase with the killers as they go on a bloody rampage.

Apart from receiving praise for his true-to-life take on police procedures, Menon was also applauded for his mature handling of the relationship between Kamal and Jyothika’s characters.

Watch it on: Zee5

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010)

Menon’s Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, starring Silambarasan and Trisha, takes a look into love’s difficulties in the face of religious and ethnic differences. Silambarasan’s Karthik is an aspiring filmmaker from a traditional Hindi-Tamil family in Chennai. He falls in love with his Malayali Christian landlord’s daughter, Jessie (Trisha). But they have to separate due to their religious and ethnic differences. Karthik begins to make a movie on his doomed relationship. During the shoot in New York, he meets Jessie and makes some alterations to the ending.

The Tamil version was shot alongside a Telugu version — Maaya Chesave — starring Naga Chaitanya and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. Menon again remade the film in Hindi as Ek Deewana Tha, starring Prateik Babbar and Amy Jackson, in 2012.

Watch it on: YouTube

Enai Noki Paayum Thota (2019)

After a hiatus of almost four years, Menon made his directorial comeback with the crime action thriller Enai Noki Paayum Thota starring Dhanush and Megha Akash. Dhanush plays an engineering student named Raghu (Dhanush) who falls in love with actress Lekha (Megha Akash). However, the lovers are torn apart by Lekha’s guardian, Kuberan, who forces her to act in films. Four years later, Raghu receives a call from her informing him about his estranged elder brother in danger. Raghu must now travel to Mumbai to save his brother and long-lost love from the grasp of deadly gangsters running an international arms racket.

The film earned good reviews from critics and audiences due to its gripping storyline. Dhanush’s gritty performance in the movie also grabbed eyeballs.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu (2022)

Menon’s neo-noir exploration of the gangster genre in Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Part I: The Kindling became one of the massive Tamil hits of 2022. Starring Silambarasan, Siddhi Idnani, Raadhika Sarathkumar, Neeraj Madhav and Siddique in prominent roles, the movie depicts the life of a young educated low-caste village boy, Muthu (Silambarasan), who goes to Mumbai to provide for his family. However, while working in a small restaurant Muthu gets involved in underground activities and ends up becoming the bodyguard of a feared Tamil gangster. However, he turns against his own boss to save his girlfriend and ultimately becomes a mob boss in Lucknow.

Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu, backed by A. R. Rahman’s score, received high praises for its originality and character development. A sequel of the film is already in development.

Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

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