The plot of Ayyanar Veethi involves two warring families — one good, one bad — whose enmity goes back by a generation. Ayyanar (Ponvannan), the headman of the village, is also the guarding deity of its people; he is referred to as “pudam pota thangam”, so you get what his character is. He and Subramania Sastry (Bhagyaraj), the local priest, are friends since childhood. Marudhu and his brothers, who reside in the neighbouring village, are the evil lot. They are determined to make Ayyanar lose face because his father was responsible for the death of their father, an illicit-hooch seller. But Sastry foils their plans a couple of times. But when a youngster in their family, Senthil (Yuvan), rapes Ayyanar’s daughter, mistaking her for his classmate who has rebuffed him, Marudhu sees an opportunity to ruin Ayyanar’s name for ever.
Of the two senior actors, Ponvannan manages to turn in an understated performance, while Bhagyaraj is unconvincing as a priest. In Idhu Namma Aalu, he played a similar role, but that was largely a comic role; here, his accent makes scenes unintentionally funny. But even this performance feels like a relief when we have to consider the wooden or exaggerated expressions that the rest of the cast make in the name of acting. And the score, by UK Murali, barely pauses for a breather and is an assault on our ears.
But even when you ignore all these and look at the film solely as a storytelling exercise, Ayyanar Veethi fails. It unfolds like a collection of the worst elements of 80s and 90s melodramas. And appallingly, there isn’t even a modicum of competence that some of those films showed in narrating their stories. Here, the scenes are randomly strewn around (at least until the first half), like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, that we have to surmise what the storyline actually is after aligning the pieces in our heads. But wait! This isn’t by design. That way, at least, we could call this abstract filmmaking, but here, all this is unintentional, solely the result of ineptitude.