Varisu is the tale of a family, as you have already surmised by this point. Rajendran (Sarathkumar), its dominating and competitive father who also owns a commercial empire, is at the helm. His wife, Sudha (Jayasudha), is a kind mother and guardian of the calm in the home. She wears stunning saris, makes everyone’s meals, bemoans the magnificence of a family, and frets incessantly.
Their older son, Jay (Meka Srikanth), is a sour loser, a philanderer, and an unskilled businessman. His wife, Sangeetha, is a patient recluse with a permanent long face. They have a rebellious 16-year-old daughter who smokes in the yard and leaves butts behind that seemingly no one notices or even smells. Perhaps living in a house that big has its drawbacks.
Ajay (Shaam), the middle son, is a clueless businessman who frequently falls prey to nefarious corporate powers. As for his wife Samyuktha, you already know the drill. Forget the Bechdel test; she is such a vital member of the cast of this movie that not a single significant conversation is ever spoken by her.The prodigal son, Vijay (played by Vijay), has only to return and bring this disorganised family back together, which is exactly what he accomplishes. No reveals there, right?
For the most of the first half, the scenes’ setup-punchline-slo-mo pattern and predictable rhythms make us impatient to move on. Which of these punchlines would provide me with the eagerly anticipated interval block, I found myself thinking. It seemed to take forever. Vamshi Paidipally somewhat makes up for this in the second half. The barriers fall down as he increases the mass quotient, and the sneaky comments never stop. It would be unjust to categorise this as solely for the fanbase, despite the fact that fan service is undoubtedly the intention. Varisu is okay if you can recognise the allusions (which I couldn’t, at least not all of them) and laugh at the absurdity (which I most definitely could).
That doesn’t take away from its fiercely warped view of the family. By its own admission, Varisu is a message padam. It is a voice-over summary with a moral at the end. A claim that places the collective focus on destructive familial values above progressive individual goals, one that condemns its women to merely being wives and mothers, destined to remain passive spectators and victims.
In Varisu, a lady is praised for her stoic acceptance of the kitchen as her own area.
One word of apology can erase the entirety of a woman’s life of loneliness, emotional unhappiness, and plain rejection by her spouse. The fact that a woman is constrained by both her husband’s and her own trigger happiness, making it impossible for her to control something as important as where she lives, won’t even be mentioned.
The message is clear in the end: Every family benefits from the quiet and erasure of its women. Every successful Varisu is the result of a million dead hopes and happy moments for women.