Movie review: Vijay Kumar’s earnest performance saves ‘Election’ from meandering plot

Film Review: ‘Election’ Fails to Deliver a Knockout Punch

The much-anticipated film ‘Election’ had all the makings of a compelling addition to the impressive filmographies of Vijay Kumar and director Thamizh. While the director’s debut film, ‘Seththumaan,’ delved into the complexities of caste and food politics, Vijay Kumar’s breakthrough work, ‘Uriyadi,’ and its sequel were politically charged masterpieces. However, despite collaborating on a film set against the backdrop of local body elections, ‘Election’ falls short of expectations.

The story kicks off with a voiceover by Sasikumar, tracing the evolution of local body elections until 2016 when Nadarasan (played by Vijay Kumar) resorts to violence in a bar, reminiscent of a scene from ‘Uriyadi.’ As the narrative unfolds, we learn about Nadarasan’s journey from a carefree individual to a reluctant entrant into the political arena, navigating the murky waters of politics while trying to maintain his integrity.

Despite exploring the nuances of grassroots politics, ‘Election’ struggles to delve deep into the intricacies of caste politics, failing to drive home a coherent message. The film, marred by unnecessary commercial elements like songs, dilutes its core theme. Moreover, the abundance of characters, akin to Vijay Kumar’s previous film ‘Fight Club,’ adds unnecessary bulk to the plot, impacting the overall coherence of the narrative within its limited two-hour runtime.

One of the film’s strengths lies in its dialogue-heavy script, with impactful lines like ‘panam illadhavan uzhaipan, panam irrukuravan aruvadai seivan’ (the rich benefit from the hard work of the poor) and ‘kaalam kaalam ah irrunkurathunala thappu seri agidathu’ (age-old practices are not necessarily right). Director Thamizh’s attention to detail, as seen in subtle references like the use of the globe scene from Charlie Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator,’ adds depth to the storytelling.

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Vijay Kumar delivers a commendable performance as the disillusioned protagonist caught in a political quagmire. However, his character’s passive role in pivotal moments leaves a void in the narrative, making the film feel incomplete. Despite displaying intermittent flashes of promise, ‘Election’ succumbs to shallow writing, failing to capitalize on its potential.

As ‘Election’ continues its theatrical run, audiences are left with a film that falls short of expectations, akin to turkeys voting for Christmas. With a promising premise but lackluster execution, ‘Election’ ultimately fails to leave a lasting impact on its viewers.

Overall, ‘Election’ may have missed the mark, but it serves as a reminder of the complexities and challenges inherent in the political landscape, urging audiences to reflect on the broader implications of electoral processes.