Note- Here’s wishing all our readers a very Happy Valentine’s Day. With Gautham Vasudev Menon‘s Ek Deewana Tha due for release on 17th February, here is a look back at the Tamil original, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.
How does it feel when you see a girl and instantly lose your heart to her?How does it feel when all you do is think about the girl and not care for anything else?How does it feel when all you want is to be with that girl and nothing else?How does it feel when you stop thinking with your mind completely?How does it feel when you automatically become a poet, a romantic one at that?
If the answer to all these questions is a very positive feeling then of course you are in/have been in love. Haven’t we all been in love sometime or the other? And don’t we keep thinking about our first love at some time or the other? Love is an emotion that knows no boundaries, it follows its own course and love keeps us going too even in times of stress. So why am I going on and on about love, especially with Valentine’s Day already 2 weeks behind us?Well the reason is Gautham Vasudev Menon’s latest movie – Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (Will you cross the skies for me? VTV from hereon), one of the most anticipated Tamil movies in recent times. And why not with A.R.Rehman back to form in Tamil after a long gap and fresh from his Grammy wins, the music has been very well received.
Also Gautham has gone back to pure romance after a long time (back to his Minnale/ Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein days) and with the lead pair of Silambarasan ( Simbu from hereon ) and Trisha looking good in the initial promos, the movie certainly was well awaited. Well the wait is over and the movie is here. So does Gautham manage to weave the tale convincingly? Does Simbu manage to shed his usual mannerisms and style and go for a change of image? Do Simbu and Trisha share a good chemistry? Is there more to the movie than just ARR’s music? Well for answers to all these and more, read on.
At the very first outset let me make it clear that VTV is a very simple romantic tale which is not out of the world or anything that’s not seen or heard before. Now don’t jump to any conclusion yet. I have always felt that making a love story is not an easy task. After all people know what to expect and the comparisons are one too many and creating an impact is not that easy at all. Here is where the treatment to the story becomes very important. Also what’s very vital is the fact that while watching the movie the audience must connect to the lead pair, they must feel the romance. If these two things are taken care of the job is done to a fair extent.
VTV is the story of Karthik ( Simbu ), a recently passed out engineering graduate whose parents ( Kitty a.k.a Raja Krishnamoorthy and Uma Padmanabhan ) have typical expectations from him. But Karthik on the other hand wants to become a filmmaker. With the help of a cinematographer, Ganesh (one of the actual producers of VTV) he manages to become an AD to K.S.Ravikumar. One fine day Karthik sees Jessie (Trisha) and falls head over in heels in love with her. Both the families stay in the same building ( Simbu’s family being tenants in Jessie’s place ) and slowly Karthik goes out of his way trying to keep on looking at Jessie all the time. Jessie is an I.T professional and belongs to a Malayalee Christian family. Finally Karthik conveys his love for her and that’s when Jessie says that things will never work out between them as her father ( Babu Antony ) would never agree.
When Jessie goes to her hometown Alleppey in Kerala for a vacation, Simbu along with his mentor Ganesh follows suit and finally Jessie also starts acknowledging her feelings for Karthik. But when her family gets an inkling of this they quickly arrange her wedding with someone else, leaving Karthik shattered. What follows is a strong emotional play between the lead players. It’s as much Jessie’s tale as it is Karthik’s from hereon and I’m certainly not going to break the heart of anyone by mentioning further about the plot. So as I’ve mentioned earlier it’s a fairly simple romantic tale but then the treatment sets it apart and elevates the film considerably.Simbu and Trisha share solid chemistry and its apparent in most of the scenes. The dialogues are very casual and contemporary. It’s a revelation to see Simbu in a completely restrained and controlled character in VTV unlike his loud, larger than life roles otherwise. Trisha has literally lived out Jessie’s character and she completely packs a punch. Right from the look she maintains, to the way she speaks and carries herself, everything appeals. A big kudos to Nalini Sriram for Trisha’s costumes. Manoj Paramahamsa who made his debut as DOP with the acclaimed film Eeram, leaves his mark once again over here.
The outdoors – be it Chennai, ECR, Kerala, Goa, Malta or New York all come alive in various hues and even the indoors are interestingly captured. What can I say about A.R.Rehman’s music apart from admitting that he rocks with both the songs and the BGM. In a lot of areas in the film, the music simply complements the mood of the situation. While its tough to single out any particular song its definitely necessary to say that ‘Hosanna‘ ( sung by Vijayprakash,Suzanne D’Mello, Blaaze, lyrics by Thamarai ) and ‘Aaromale’ ( sung by Alphons Joseph, lyrics by Kaithapram ) in particular are outstanding. By now the songs have caught on in a big way and I think they have been captured well on screen too. On the flip side I would say that the pace drops considerably in the 2nd half. But just when you start feeling slightly restless, there comes the climax that leaves you asking for more.
It’s a very interesting culmination to a romance that Gautham has managed to project. It’s a pity that the Telugu version ‘Ye Maaya Chesave’ is following a rather straight forward conclusion to suit the Telugu audience. While I’m not sure how the majority would respond to the ending of the movie, for me this works and comes out as pretty impressive. As mentioned earlier, in a romantic film, the audience needs to connect to the lead pair and if that happens the job is done to a large extent. That way I’d say I could completely connect to Karthik and Jessie’s tale and that is Gautham’s victory if you truly ask me.
“The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Oh love isn’t love till you give it away”
- Reba Mcentire
Love is in the air once again. And VTV summarizes that beautifully.
Note- This post was originally written 2 years ago after the release of VTV. It has now been re-edited and published again on the occasion of Valentine’s Day,2012 and the impending release of Ek Deewana Tha.